Over 400 young people from across Africa gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in April for the Pan-African Youth Forum. It was an unmissable opportunity to share ideas, debate issues and crucially, influence how the African Union (AU) invests in Africa’s youth.
We spoke to activist Adewuyi Roseline Adebimpe, who travelled from Ibadan, Nigeria to be there. Adewuyi was a ONE Champion in 2017, and is passionate about gender equality.
How did you become an activist?
My experience as a woman pushed me to become an activist. As a young girl, making certain comments, I was silenced because I was a girl. But I asked a lot of questions about my identity as a woman. Since then I try to challenge assumptions and step into my personal power as a woman through activism.
How did you get involved with ONE?
A friend told me about ONE in 2016, and after reading more about the organization, I realized that ONE’s vision matches my own. There and then, I started following ONE on social media. Afterwards, in 2017, I applied to become a ONE Champion and was so pleased to be selected.
What does your family think of your activism?
Well, my family, including my twin brother, have been very supportive of my activism. They encourage me and tell me how to get better
Why did you want to go to AU Youth Forum?
I would like to participate in the debate, contribute to the initiative and meet other young people who share my ideals.
The AU aims to provide opportunities for at least 1 million young Africans by 2021. What do you think?
I think ‘1 Million by 2021’ stands out from other AU actions because of its practical nature and the visible footprints it will leave among African youths. I hope the recommendations will be translated into implementable actions beyond talks.
Do you have a message for Aya Chebbi, the AU Youth Envoy?
I would like to tell her that young people are waiting to see concrete actions that have an impact on our lives, and not just public policies that make us dream but will not be actualized.
What are your hopes for the future?
I dream of a future where women will have the same rights as men. I also dream of a future where African youth will love to stay in Africa because of the development that would have happened.
Find out more about the Pan-African Youth Forum.