By Ikenna Asomba

Poised to celebrating and recognising individuals and organisations that promote the African heritage and development, the Independent Pan African Youth Parliament (IPAYP), will on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19, 2018, hold its 2018 African Leadership Awards and Nation Building Series.

The epoch-making event billed to hold at the Human Right Hall, Constitution Hill Museum, Braamfontein Johannesburg, South Africa, will see the conferment of various categories of Leadership Awards on no fewer than 13 leaders, particularly young and vibrant entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, innovators among others.

Also, IPAYP, via its Nation Building Series at this historic event, seeks to address the unemployment situation in African countries, and all its attendant consequences, through critical discussions on the economies of African countries, as well as the needed requisite skills to drive growth and development.

Being the fourth edition, the theme is: “Entrepreneurship, Youth and Development in Africa: Building Skills and Innovation for the Africa We Want.”

The Director, International Programmes & Outreach, IPAYP, Dr. Rita Ozoemena, in a statement, said the nominees for the various categories of the African Leadership Awards include: Chairman, Air Peace Airline, Barr. Allen Onyema (Pan African Cooperate Leadership Award); Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Diplomatic Watch Magazine and Chief Executive Officer, Conduit Communications Limited, Victor Gotevbe (Young African Professional Award); Domtila Chesang (African Youth Leader of the Year 2018 Award); Adaku Ufere (Young African Professional Award); Ugwoegbulam Stephenson (Pan African Entrepreneur Award) and Mohammed Danjuma (Pan African Development Achievement Award).

Others are Hon. Khadija M. Diiriye (Life Time Excellence Achievement on Service To Humanity Award); Notando Molefe (African Young Entrepreneur Award); Calvin Mathibeli (Pan African Young Corporate Achiever Award); Adv. Kathy Dehlu Mhango (Pan African Social Justice Award); Walta Gabriel Busulwa (African Girl Child Activist Award); Dr. Ali Said Faqi (Outstanding International Humanitarian Service Award) and Riya Williams Yuyada (African Youth Defender Award).

The statement read: “In Africa, unemployment is very high and the youth are mainly affected. Currently, the highest unemployment rate is 27.7 per cent in South Africa. Close by is Botswana with an unemployment rate of about 20 per cent despite economic growth and mining of diamond. For Botswana, the diamond mining accounts for only 20 per cent of employment in that country.

“Interestingly, the two economic power houses on the continent; South Africa and Nigeria have the highest unemployment rates of 27.7 per cent and 25.2 per cent respectively. The crisis levels to which the unemployment rates have reached have huge implications for the social, economic and political development of the young persons.

“In many countries across the continent, there are huge agitations. The youths are agitating for the basic necessities which they greatly lack to enjoy adequate standard of living as provided for in many international human rights law such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948), African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (ACHPR, 1981), African Youth Charter (AYC, 2006).

“The instability and violence faced by majority of these countries in Africa largely precipitated by poverty and inequality contribute to lack of skilled labour to drive the economic development of the people. It is known that young people without skill are much more likely to be unemployed (Trading Economics, 2017). Often times, entry level jobs available at government agencies or at the private sector do not pay adequately resulting in forum-shopping by the youth or huge attrition in the system. One way of improving the system is to encourage entrepreneurship which can build on creative innovation and skills development.”

2018 African Leadership Award and Nation Building Series

The statement stated that, “At this year’s event, we focus on entrepreneurship as the key catalyst for the promotion of a stable, progressive Africa. Africa has to take strategic steps to deal with the intractable unemployment rates on the continent and we believe that entrepreneurship is pivotal to meeting these challenges inhibiting growth and development that the continent desperately needs.

“The event will gather under one roof leaders particularly young and vibrant entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, innovators from all sectors, business forums, government agencies and private companies. The economies of African countries need the requisite skills to drive growth, hence the need for this platform to address unemployment and all its attendant consequences.”

Conference Focus

According to Ozoemena, the conference will focus on five key areas such as Entrepreneurship; Business Development; Skills acquisition and Training; Peace and Security, as well as Industrialisation and Innovative Technology

On Entrepreneurship, the Director, International Programmes & Outreach, IPAYP, said this will cover a wide range of issues relating to creating work; social and commercial entrepreneurship, investment and mentorship for success.

On Business Development, she affirmed that this includes project development and sustainability. Business forums and role of bi-national commissions in Africa; Regional integration and trade without borders.

On Skill acquisition and training, she disclosed that it would border on Education as a right, information technology, training Africa’s leaders; internship and creating opportunity

According to her, on Peace and security the conference will ponder on Stability for economic growth, xenophobia, corruption and capital flight, adding that on Industrialisation and Innovative Technology, the conference will discuss innovation, technological advancement, energy and power, economic development, manufacturing and infrastructure development.

Conference Structure

“The conference will be organised around plenary sessions, group discussions and practical workshops. We offer platforms for Panel Sponsorships and Exhibitions,” the statement added,

For further enquiries and sponsorship, please contact: The Local Organising Team:; +27 83 4293009, +27 72 2398424, +27 786742598,