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#YouLead18 Opening Session | by Sahlim Charles

The YouLead Summit 2018 under the theme: Youth political and economic inclusion started off on a high with opening speeches from a number of speakers.

These speakers included;

Mr. Ezra Mbogori, Mr Jerry Murro, Amb. Salah Sidding and Hon. Ngoga Martin Karoli

Mr. Ezra Mbogori, The Executive Director at MS TCDC welcomed all the youth delegates to the center. His speech focused on the unification of the region through the East African Community anthem. He urged the delegates on the need to internalize, sing and teach others this anthem.


Jerry Murro- District Commissioner of Arumeru District, spoke about the need to Increase use of the Swahili language across the region. Further, he spoke of the importance of youth in governance and integration processes in the region. He said that the Tanzanian government has given so much effort in ensuring youth inclusion by having youth make up 60% of the cabinet and having 80% deputy ministers as youth.

He insisted that the integration of East African Community has given the youth the much needed support and youth need to take advantage of this by:

  •     By actively being involved in politics.
  •     Right use of social media to advance the issues of the region.
  •     Utilize all the existing opportunities.

He further proposed on the abandonment of technology, stating that it has no importance to the growth of youth. This statement elicited quite a number of reaction from the delegates with most of them saying that social media and technology has immensely contributed to the development of youth in the region and that governments need to ensure conducive environment for innovation among the youth rather than shrinking the spaces.

 The third speaker Amb. Salah Sidding Hammad spoke of equal youth representation and the need to nurture and build their capacity. He also spoke of EAC Youth Ambassadorship Program as a unique programme that focuses on providing opportunities for students from across the region.

Finally, Hon. Ngoga Karoli Martin, speaker of EALA, addressed the delegates in a speech delivered by by Hon. Kennedy Kalonzo, MP, EALA.


In his speech- read by Hon Musyoka, Hon Ngoga spoke of a number of issues which were directly touching on youth development and integration of East Africa Community. These issues include;

1. Youth leadership- he urged the delegates to take over the mantle of leadership. “Your leadership and commitment can make a big difference, drive reforms and modernization, you are a rich source of creativity. You are open and adaptable to innovation, youth are more flexible and energetic and also have a stronger stake in transforming the societies than previous generations.” He emphasized

He also acknowledge that programmes like YouLead Summit provide an excellent opportunity for youth to exchange viewpoints and explore different perspective with their peers.

He further emphasized on the need to have such programmes as EAC YouLead Summit as it spurs conversation, inform and inspire everyone. He showed his delight and encouraged that the younger generation feel an increasing sense of ownership over the nations and community’s future.

2. Youth Policy- he detailed how the EAC is working to ensure that the August 2013 adopted youth policy provides a binding framework for effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation for youth programs and projects. In the same breath, he said that EALA is working on the EAC Youth Council Bill 2017. This bill seeks to harmonize the laws and regulations in the community regarding the youth.

Role of the youth- he made it clear that the regional assembly recognizes youth as an integral part and also important key resource in socio-political development of the community.

Lastly, the speaker acknowledged MS TCDC and other partners for organizing the summit and their commitment to bringing the youth together.

After his speech, he officially opened the 2nd East African Community Youth Leadership Summit(YouLead).



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