Trump should be passionate about African youth empowerment
BY MAURICE ONGALA
A development consultant in Kenya
President Obama has left a legacy of escalated youth and women empowerment and more liberal US foreign policy in Africa. During his eight years in the White House, he has been on record as the US president who visited African countries the most time and signed the highest number of trade agreements as well as initiating various development initiatives between African and American entities.
Perhaps the most remarkable of these is his Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) whose primary objective is to identify, mentor and connect outstanding young African leaders in the areas of business and entrepreneurship, civil society and public management. The YALI program has three notable components, namely Mandela Washington Fellowship where young African leaders go to top US institutions for at least six weeks to learn how their systems work; regional learning centers across Africa to identify and incubate ideas from young Africans; and a continent-wide network of YALI alumni who create and connect each other with opportunities regionally. President Obama will also be remembered as an astute champion for women empowerment and involvement in development, governance and democratic processes in Africa.
Any government is an entity in perpetuity. Gains made by the administration of President Obama, and particularly those leveraged for African states, ought to be continued with a renewed impetus in order to achieve their long-term objectives.
Therefore, I expect the next US president to continue opening the borders for Africans and indigenous African companies to seek and find opportunities to trade within the US. I expect the next president to be one who is passionate about African youth empowerment and who views women as equal members of the society and is ready to invest in empowering them to achieve their maximum potentials.
Maurice Ongala is a sociologist and a development consultant based in Nairobi, Kenya with a passion for social development and living inspiration. He has consulted for the government of Kenya at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning; for Amnesty International Kenya, Nairobi; the County Government of Wajir, Kenya; the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Geneva; among others. He is currently the managing consultant at Miresi Consult Ltd, a development consultancy firm he founded.