For the first time, German diplomats based in different African countries have come together for a two-day-regional conference to discuss challenges of the African youth and their potential for peace and development on the continent.
The conference, organised by the German Embassy in Accra started on January 17 and ends on January 18, 2017.
“We are happy that the conference takes place in Accra as Ghana is an important hub for Germany in Africa,” the German Ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff stated.
The Regional Director of Sub-Saharan Africa of the German Federal Foreign Ministry, Georg Schmidt, is in Ghana for the conference.
During his stay, he will also meet stakeholders of the Ghanaian-German bilateral cooperation and hold political talks.
In most of the Sub-Saharan countries over 60 percent are young men and women under the age 35.
The conference, amongst other things, answered the question on the influence of the demographics on political issues and how can youth hs been empowered.
During the opening session of the conference, the German diplomats discussed several issues. They compared the situation of young people in their host countries and shared theirs views on the instruments used to involve the youth in political processes.
On January 17, the German Embassy had a panel discussion in order to get a detailed idea of concerns and wishes of Ghanaian youth.
The panellists were representatives from political parties, think tanks, universities and the cultural and religious sphere.
All of them worked intensively with personalities including Patrick Awuah, founder of Ashesi University.
Mr Awuah stressed the need for economic education; the need to educate young people to create jobs and the need to make them active participants in the African economy.
With regards to culture, another panellist, Nana Ofori Atta-Ayim, director of the Arts institution ANO said that there are already many cultural initiatives by young Africans, that are also economically relevant.
She rather called for a change of narrative about Europe and its image that is being portrayed to Africans.
Participants agreed that good governance, fair trade and good education are key elements for positive transformation in Africa.
Over the next few years, Germany will intensify its cooperation with the African continent.
It has pledged to make Africa’s development a core topic at the G20 summit, which Germany is chairing this year.
In preparation for the summit, G20 countries will discuss mechanisms to encourage private investment in Africa and consider how to improve economic conditions on the continent.
Germany wants to make its contribution to creating better prospects for the youth in Africa.