Prof Ransford Gyampo

Ghana is to host the 11th edition of the African Youth and Governance Convergence (AYGC) scheduled for August 11 to 18 at Abokobi near Accra on the theme: “Partnerships for Youth Development: Key to Building Africa beyond Aid”.

The event being organised by the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) in collaboration with the National Youth Authority would be attended by about 120 young people drawn from 25 African countries and 20 from the diaspora.

A statement issued by the YBF on Thursday, said the convergence formed part of efforts to address the gap between the youth and government as well as create a sustained avenue to prepare young people in Africa for governance and leadership.

It said, “Africa has the youngest population in the world with about 41 per cent of the people below 15 years old while another 19 per cent are between 15 and 24 years.

“It is estimated that in 2055, the continent’s youth population aged 15-24, will be more than double the 2015 total of 226 million. However the continent remains hostile to youth participation especially in the areas of substantive politics and governance,” the statement said.

According to the statement, there was a massive age gap between Africa’s youthful population and its leaders; while the average age of African population was 19.5 that of their leaders according to a 2017 UNDP Report is 62 years.

The statement said Africa was the world’s largest age gap between governors and the governed, and it raises concerns about how well decision-makers understood the needs and aspirations of young people.

“This disparity can cause huge challenges such as political and social unrest, criminality and even armed conflict if not addressed.”

It said the ability of African governments and other stakeholders to tap into the energy and dynamism of the burgeoning youthful population will be an important factor determining whether the continent prospers or suffers in future.

The statement said the AYGC was a week-long convergence initiated and convened by YBF since 2009, to bring together the youth, experts in academia, government officials and public servants to analyze policy documents and deliberate on issues affecting the continent.

According to the statement, Prof Ransford Gyampo, an Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Ghana, observed that AYGC 2019 will delve much into the practical ways of achieving the vision of Africa Beyond Aid through youth development, mentorship and leadership.

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