An essay on synergy by Judyannet Muchiri.
It is the information age; but information on its own is nothing.
What you do with information, how and with who changes everything. Similarly what you don’t do with information is also important. Narrowing it down to the youth in Africa and across the globe, what information do they have, how do they acquire it and what do they do with it? For Africa to fully realize its potential and emerge as a self – sustaining continent information must be availed, not only to the major actors in development but also to the youth. But how can the youth acquire this information?
This is what Network of African Youths for Development (NAYD) does. NAYD is a non political, non religious online platform that pools all the efforts of African youth into one force and gives them a greater voice. NAYD was established in 2006 and it is, simply put, a home to all young people who are primarily passionate about Africa and secondly work towards its sustainable development. It includes young people who are working in different community projects in their countries in youth – led start ups, community based organizations and non-governmental organizations.
By pooling all these young people together, NAYD gives them and the organizations they work with a platform to exchange information with each other based on their areas of advocacy. Further NAYD avails these young people passionate about sustainable development with current relevant information regarding the various factors of development at the local level, regional and international level be it policy or resources. The young people in Africa if not globally must rise up and actively seek to acquire information, use it positively by transferring it into action at the community level. The major way that they can do this is by building connections with other young people working in various community projects both at the grassroots and at the policy making level.
Connections not only give the youth a chance to exchange ideas and information but also strengthen the efforts of the youth and ultimately the continent, because the youth are the majority, in pushing for the realization of the MDGs and the SDGs. NAYD as a committed organization towards sustainability recognizes the importance of synergy and conducts various activities in this respect. Some of them include:
- Topical Discussions that allow young people to freely express their ideas and opinions on various matters like Official Aided Development in developing countries and the effects of dependency on aid.
- Weekly Twitter Chat (#NaydChat) that bring experts in various fields like Social Entrepreneurship, Mentorship, Role of the Youth in Diaspora in building Africa and Agribusiness, in a one hour discussion with the hosts and the followers of NAYD.
- Debates that bring two or four young people together to argue for or against relevant issues that affect Africa and Development. For example, ‘Is Agriculture too ‘dirty’ for the youth?’
- Joining hands with other International Organizations working in Africa, NAYD is involved in many activities with other stakeholders like sensitizing the public on Gender Based Violence in the recent #16DaysOfActivism.
- NAYDtv which involves sharing information on topical matters via video, in short clear messages that can reach many young people who are not able to follow the discussions or chats as they happen.
NAYD has a membership of over 39,000 young passionate changemakers across the globe. Why don’t you join the network of young people impacting positive change in The Continent.
Also read Globalization & inclusive Youth-led Development (published in March 2014).