106 students and educators from 12 countries, including the United States of America, participated in the inaugural African Leadership Academy Model African Union (ALAMAU), hosted from April 9 — 13, 2014 by a team of ALA young leaders.
The Model African Union was conceived as a forum for vibrant high school students to explore the inner workings of the African Union, and to practice international relations and diplomacy by assuming the roles of African diplomats and leaders. During the five-day conference held on the theme “shared challenges, common solutions”, delegates simulated five organs of the African Union and one regional economic organization, discussing topics such as “Eradicating electoral fraud in Africa”, “Combating the growing threat of terrorism in Africa”, “Harnessing the oil and gas potential in East and Southern Africa”, “Eliminating gender disparities in African education” and “Improving internal trade in Africa”. In the final session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, all delegates worked together to develop a resolution on “Addressing youth unemployment in Africa”.
The conference commenced on Wednesday April 9, 2014 with a town hall meeting with US Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard who challenged the delegates to work together to develop implementable solutions to Africa’s longstanding challenges. Other diplomats who participated in the opening ceremony activities include the Ambassadors of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Bene M’Poko), Kenya (Patrick Wamoto) and Ghana (Martha Pobee), as well as the Director of the Bureau at the Pan-African Parliament, Prof Osy Nwebo.
Participants at ALAMAU 2014 included students from Kenya, Nigeria, Swaziland, Botswana, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and the United States, joining students from ALA’s diverse student body. The second edition of the Model African Union is scheduled to be held from March 18-22, 2015.