Baywood Foundation, on Tuesday in Lagos, announced a pan-African initiative in partnership with the African Union to organize a two-day interactive conference aimed at advocating for more youth participation in politics and governance.
Addressing a press conference in Ikeja, its founder, Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe explained that the Baywood Foundation initiative slated for Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia was not only to create inclusive opportunities for youth but also to develop their intrinsic capabilities for future leadership roles.
According to Emperor Ibe, Baywood Foundation is proposing this initiative which offers leadership development and a path to greater involvement in political governance for youths throughout Africa.
We are at the vanguard of stakeholder-resonant programmes which have significantly impacted on the development of youths in Nigeria, driving affirmative action for investment in youths to reposition them for greater relevance in the socio-political arena.
He said the conference titled: “Back To The Future- Young People Reimagining Today’s Politics will feature key stakeholders from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mali, Botswana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa, Tunisia, Kenya and Tanzania.
Besides, the sole financier of the foundation said beginning from the year 2020, about 200, 000 youths from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, gender and academic disciplines under the auspices of the Baywood Foundation will participate in a special internship programme for 12 months.
He said the interns will be placed in relevant institutions such as a political party, legislative body, government agency, saying the objective is to position the candidates within an environment which provides opportunities to establish networks, upgrade knowledge levels and chart a career path in government.
According to him, parts of the challenges identified by the foundation militating against youth involvement include neglect/ abandonment of youths, lack of engagement with the youths and no collaboration with the youths.
Baywood Foundation was set up to support populations and communities plagued by poverty, unemployment, poor healthcare access, illiteracy, marginalization and exclusion.
The organisation also partnered with Enugu State University of Technology ESUT, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP ), the Economic Community of West African States( ECOWAS ) and the African Union (AU ) in furtherance of the affirmative action to organize a programme called Harnessing the Potentials of the Youths in Nigeria at the establishment of the Institute for Peace and Development in ESUT.