A GREENER AFRICA WE WANT BY 2015.
A Presentation to the International Youth Leaders Summit
Session: Corporate Driven Development & the Millennium Development Goals
By Emmanuel Dennis
Regional Coordinator, YES Africa & Green Teams Initiative
KICC, Nairobi 20th November 2010
My fellow young Leaders. It is a great honor and privilege to speak to you. Today in a world that is growing younger by the day, with the population of youth bulging, I want to reaffirm that Government Leaders cannot solve global challenges on their own any more. Today, it is everyday people – and, critically, their personal networks – who have the potential to be the world's big new problem solvers. Post-disaster emergency responses in recent months have vividly displayed the need for coordinated efforts from non-profits, companies, individuals, online communities, governments and the UN system. The same mindset of partnership, urgency, and "all hands on deck" is also required to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the world's integrated targets for tackling extreme poverty by 2015.
Today we are seeing a new breed of players coming on board to support the efforts in reclaiming the glory that the world should be today. They are the Green Entrepreneurs, committed to reworking the world to retain its virgin nature and provide plenty for a world that is starving and at the same time create a source of revenue through ecopreneurship.
The next five years provides an opportunity for us young people, to learn about and become involved with organizations that address global and local issues, network, and become engaged and empowered to take leadership roles in their communities. At the Millennium General Assembly in 2000, all Heads of States unanimously agreed to work toward the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals. But it is the people that must come together to take action to see that these goals are achieved.
Let me exemplify a few areas:
Corruption – Just as poverty is multifaceted, corruption also manifests itself in various forms. Development assistance that aims to increase the sharing between the rich and the poor and to support equitable development processes is vital to reducing poverty. It is therefore of critical importance to ensure that development resources are used for this intended purpose and not diverted through corruption. Rooting out corruption promotes equality, development and reduction of poverty.
Entrepreneurship – I want to laud the Young people who are coming up with new innovative enterprises with capabilities of creating the jobs of tomorrow. Entrepreneurship and Innovation are the prerequisite of social, economic and political development of any society and will be the determinant of quick attainment of the MDGs. I want to encourage young people to start viewing every development effort through an entrepreneurship prism. The millions of unemployed youth today could be a huge social investment for effective mitigation of global problems. There is increasing pressure to combat the global Climate Crises through various approaches.
The problem of youth unemployment now needs to be connected to the global crises with clear cut solutions to reducing it. First; Financial, social and ecological pressures mean that a new kind of employment programmes must emerge. Secondly, these must meet the short term imperative: engage youth on a large scale to prevent social conflict, and be cost effective and largely rely on private flows, not aid or government money for sustainability. Thirdly, they must meet the long term imperative: support the emergence of sustainable value chains that opens up a new avenue for sustainable action.
Networking and Shared Responsibility– Young people are increasingly and should plug into the power of information. The creation of online networks allows for sharing of information and cross pollination of ideas. With the command of numbers, young people can ensure greater action is achieved through collaboration with peers and by finding out what is being done and what still needs to be addressed. Information
Technology has made it easy now for people to communicate, exchange ideas and run business. ICT is an accelerator of MDGs if used with a business mind. IT influences the way people perceive things and has played a critical role in changing the culture of people around the world.
Environmental issues – If we don't take care of the earth, it will not take care of us. The future is green if we have to attain MDGs. With Greener infrastructure, we will have food. With Cleaner environment, we will breed healthy livelihoods. With Greener Forests, we will have clean and safe drinking water from thriving rivers and other water bodies. The world is moving to greener, and cleaner energy for sustainable economies. The economies of the future will be dependent on green energy and clean environmental efforts. Climate Change as it is today can be tackled at a larger scale through adopting Green Based enterprises and increasing Green Jobs for our youth.
The Green Teams Vision for Africa that offers a promise to create the next millions of jobs through investing in Green Value Chains is one initiative that all of you should subscribe to. We are in partnership with the UNHABITAT's Cities in Climate Change Initiative, to Train Trainers in Four Cities on creating Green Teams to curb the effects of Climate Change. The green Teams Initiative will integrate both labor intensive green jobs, as well as high end intellectual sectors with abilities to create jobs for the youth.
We are building an interactive web portal, www.thegreenteams.org Young people in rural communities will be able to interact with investors in larger cities and exchange goods and services. The content will be translated into simple mobile telephony technology to make it accessible with the slowest of bandwidth speeds. Every Country, City, Community, Village needs a green Team. I would like to encourage all of you to start thinking green by creating your own green team and taking your community to the next level of sustainability. Let us take care of the future generations by adapting to measures that will support our environment, sustain our livelihoods, and support the growth of our communities. With such practices not only will we have achieved the millennium Development Goals. We will have saved ourselves and our natural habitats. But we cannot do it alone.
We need enabling Partnerships between Governments, Private Sector, Public Service, The Professions the unemployed youth in communities and the Cooperate Sector to attain the Millennium Development Goals. In deed the Cooperate World is playing a critical role in the development of the economy. The Youth must start embracing cooperate practices but at community level. It is at the community that Development shall be felt. It is high time we restructured development to make sure we reach to the unreached communities. A wholistic approach to achieving MDGs.
We MUST Work together.
Thank you very much and May God Bless you.
Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo
YES Kenya Leader
Initiator of the Green Teams Vision