(Abuja, Nigeria; July 23rd – 26th, 2013)
With an estimated 75% of West Africa’s population aged below 30 years old, the region is considered to be one of the most “youthful” in the world and the need for sustainable development efforts must be geared towards and incorporate the youth in decision-making procedures at all levels. Opportunities must be created for the youth in order to shape and influence socio-economic development, as the marginalization from policy processes has the potential to limit the durability of the economic growth West Africa is currently experiencing. Unlocking the potential of West African youth via a comprehensive and integrated approach is key to the stability of an increasingly rising economic and political player.
In cooperation with the Office of the Special Advisor to the President of Ethics & Values of Nigeria, the Organization for Youth Educations and Development (OYED) will provide an intercultural forum for the youth leaders of Africa. Focused on the future of West Africa, particularly with regards to education and employment possibilities, the Conference will provide a platform for discussions and cultural exchanges, thus stimulating the framing of concrete solutions. Through Cultural Diplomacy, best practices and innovative strategies will be shared via artistic performances, constructive workshops, and outreach programs.
Based in Abuja, Nigeria, the Conference will be hosted at a number of important political, historic, and cultural locations across the city, and will consist of excursions to the country’s top institutions and landmarks. Featured locations during the Conference will include: the Presidential Complex, the National Assembly, the Supreme Court of Nigeria, and the International Conference Center, in addition to various governmental institutions and foreign embassies.
Participation in the Conference is open to students, young professionals, private sector representatives, civil society practitioners, musicians, artists, human rights activists, mediation specialists, academics, governmental & diplomatic officials, and journalists, as well as other interested individuals from across the world.
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Speakers during the Symposium will include heads of state, ministers, politicians, diplomats, academics, authors, journalists, and artists, as well as figures and experts from Cultural Diplomacy, International Relations, Economics, Politics, Sustainable Development, and Conflict Resolution, as well as private sector and civil society representatives from Africa and around the world.
The Conference will focus in particular on the following areas: