African Youth in Southern Africa

By | June 19, 2016

African Youth in Southern Africa…

African Youth specifically in South Africa regard June 16 as Youth Day. This started about 40 years ago when the students were prostesting against the forced use of Afrikaans language as a medium of instruction in some of their schools. In those days youth leaders took the struggle to different provinces in South Africa and became unstoppable.

Just across South African borders is another rising youth leader who is approaching youth concerns in a different angle. His name is Mcleo Mapfumo.

Mcleo Mapfumo has become one of the most influential youth in Zimbabwe. He is the Youth President of Zimbabwe United Nations Association, a Youth Representative in the UN Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY) for Humanitarian Affairs, a part of the Global Youth Network, a representative to the UN DPI/NGO Cluster for Youth, and a Post-2015 Development Agenda Youth Advocate.

Mcleo works at the grassroots level to stop the top-down approach to government in Zimbabwe. He believes that the local people have been isolated, and their voices have been silenced. He aims to help grassroots organizations in Zimbabwe improve the lives of marginalized groups through the use of Agenda 2030, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals) proposed by the United Nations.

Mcleo is determined to bring the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to Zimbabwe. He plans to initiate a program to translate these goals into the local languages of Zimbabwe. Furthermore, he hopes to use sign language in order to increase the number of people receive information regarding the sustainable development goals; if more people are educated, more people will work to reach these goals.

Another goal of his is to increase the amount of youth involvement and youth leadership in Zimbabwe. Mcleo believes that young people are the future for the country, so it is imperative that they work as early as possible with the government to create a better future. He is working with high school students and university-aged youth, both in and out of school, in order to get the youth interested in the future of Zimbabwe.

Mcleo believes that if students participate in activities such as model United Nations in high school and university, they will want to become educated, empowered, and change the world. He also predicts that after the youth discover what issues they are interested in, these youths can then push their respective local leaders to advocate for change to meet their needs.

There is a common trend between the Youth of June 1976 in South Africa and that of Mcleo of Zimbabwe. The common factor is the language barrier. This is Mcleo Mapfumo approach, “he is determined to bring the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to Zimbabwe. He plans to initiate a program to translate these goals into the local languages of Zimbabwe. Furthermore, he hopes to use sign language in order to increase the number of people receive information regarding the sustainable development goals; if more people are educated, more people will work to reach these goals.”

 

 

 

 

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