The First Ladies of Kenya and Malawi Margaret Kenyatta and Dr Gertrude Mutharika respectively on Monday said the future of Africa heavily relies heavily on its vibrant youth as critical catalysts for change and innovation.They said the continent can no longer afford to ignore the immense and energetic potential held by its youth and excluding this important segment of its population from key decisions making processes.
The Kenyan First Lady said the youth hold the solutions to some of the most perplexing and pervasive problems that Africa faces.
“You are our change catalysts; you are our innovators; you are our present and our future”, said the Kenyan First Lady.
On her part, Dr Mutharika said young people need to be involved in decision making on matters that affect the continent especially on health and education.
“Most importantly, young people need to be an integral part in decision making processes”, said visiting First Lady.
The two First Ladies spoke during the opening of a two-day Africa Health Agenda International (AHAI) -2017 Youth Pre-Conference in Nairobi.
The Youth Pre-conference forum that brings together over 200 delegates from various organizations from across Africa precedes the main AHAIC conference scheduled for March 7-9 in Nairobi.
The (AHAIC) conference under the theme of “Towards a Healthier Africa: People, Systems and Innovation” is sponsored by Amref Health Africa with the support of the World Health Organization and the Kenyan Ministry of Health.
The main conference is expected to bring together another 400 experts from around the world to share their expertise, research findings, debate on and share strategies on Africa’s preparedness for SDGs and Resilient Health Systems.
Dr Mutharika is the current President of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/Aids and officially opened the youth forum as head of OAFLA.
The host, Margaret Kenyatta, is a member of the OAFLA steering committee.