African Leadership Academy introduced its inaugural International Youth Day Essay competition on August 12, 2013 to encourage young Africans to contribute their voices to the conversation around utilizing Africa’s youth bulge for the continent’s development and prosperity.
The essay competition was structured on the theme “Maximizing Youth Potential for Africa’s Development”, with a specific topic: “How can governments, businesses, non-profits, individuals and the youth collaborate to maximize Africa’s youth potential for the continent’s development and prosperity?” Over the course of seven weeks, 259 young people from across 20 countries in Africa, including two Africans living in the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic participated in the competition.
At the completion of the competition, ten essays emerged above the rest as having satisfactorily met the requirements of focusing on ‘SPECIFIC practicable, implementable, measurable and scalable ideas that can be implemented effectively across the continent’. The top ten essays were written by young people in Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Kenya and Lesotho.
The winning essay was written by Mayowa Okelana, a 17-year old student from Ibadan, Nigeria. In his essay, Mayowa focused on education reforms, health development and female empowerment as strategies for developing Africa through the power of youth. . The first runner-up was Alexandre Murinzi, a 17-year old student from Groupe Scolaire Officiel de Butare in Rwanda , while the second runner-up was Wenseslaus Mwita, a 17-year old student at School of St. Jude in Tanzania .
Other essays in the top 10 were written by:
Bryan Sichore from Zimbabwe —
Chukwuma Akubueze from Nigeria —
Gofaone Modise from Botswana —
Mamahou Thetsane from Lesotho —
Munga Muchemi from Kenya —
Stephen Mokoro from Kenya —
Yashna Ramjeet from Mauritius —
We are incredibly grateful to all those who participated in the competition, and we celebrate all our winners.
Further details about the winners and their prizes will be published in due course.