AU chair counts Africa’s blessings
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has opened the 10th African Regional Conference of the World Association of the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) in Lagos, saying the greatest and most precious resource on the continent remained its people.
The conference hosted by the Nigerian Girl Guides Association on Monday had as its theme, “Young Women; Soaring Towards Excellence”.
The AU commission chair said the people of the continent truly desire the realization of their dream of an Africa that is integrated, people-centred, prosperous and at peace with itself, its environment and the rest of the world.
“We are not only blessed with a youthful population, we also have abundant natural resources, land, forest and marine resources, fossils, and renewable energy, as well as mineral resources.
“This is particularly true for our beloved continent, since over seventy percent of our population is under the age of 30 years, and the majority are girls and young women.
“ By 2025, one quarter of the world’s young women and men under 25 years will be African,” she said.
The Chairperson noted the African Union had long embraced the ethos of the Girls Guides and Girl Scouts which was the intergenerational approach to empowerment and leadership development amongst young people.
According to her, as older generations, it was necessary to share experience of life, society and the world, and irrespective of whatever position held in any life’s endeavour in the community, families, society or government.
Aside from having a deliberate policy for the development of the people in place, she said that an enabling environment was also required to enable young people soar to higher heights.