“Africa’s defining challenge is to create a pathway to prosperity for the youth”- AU Chair

President Paul Kagame yesterday officially assumed the position of African Union chairperson, taking over from Guinea’s President Alpha Conde at the 30th AU Summit underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This will be Kagame’s second major responsibility at the AU as he is also spearheading and supervising the body’s reforms process.

During his acceptance speech, he said “Africa’s defining challenge is to create a pathway to prosperity for our people, especially young Africans.”

He concluded his acceptance speech with a message to African youths.

“I wish to close with a message to Africa’s young people. Elders should be able to enjoy the pleasure, of telling you how hard they had it at your age, to better appreciate what you have, and inspire you to work harder,” the new AU chairman echoed.

Kagame also called on them to be involved in changing the African narrative, saying that they have a crucial role to play.

“Our job is to make sure that every generation enjoys a better one than the last. Young Africans, men and women, you have a full role to play. For women especially whom we need to unreservedly accord their full rights and roles we cannot build Africa without you,” said the Rwandan leader.


Kagame’s statement comes at a time when many African youths seem to have lost hope with a majority of them fleeing the continent for greener pasture through perilous routes. Young people constitute a large and rapidly growing proportion of the population in most countries of Africa and in many parts of the world as a whole. These young people live in a rapidly changing world, faced with many pressures. Young people on the whole experience discomforting confusion, disquieting irritations and perplexities, and adjustment problems as a result of rapid social change. The current socioeconomic conditions in Africa block the progress of the Africa youth.


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