A statement from the US embassy in Harare said President Obama would meet the youth leaders,who include three Zimbabweans in Washington, from August 3rd to 5th under the
President’s Forum with Young African Leaders.
The three, are Cleopatra Ndlovu, Masimba Nyamanhindi and Sydney Chisi. They have played significant roles in Zimbabwean civil society covering a wide range of issues including civic education, youth empowerment, women’s rights and civic activism.
The forum builds on the commitments President Obama made during his historic visit to Ghana in July 2009.
“This is our attempt to see the future of Africa through the eyes of
young Africans. Rather than our bringing people here and explaining to them that we think they need to do A, B, or C; we are bringing them here so that they can describe for us their vision of the future of their country, their region and their continent,” says Bruce Wharton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa.
“This will give us ideas about how we can support the sort of progressive approach to governance, economic opportunity and social development,” he added.
During the three day forum, the youth leaders will learn from
each other, work together to develop innovative solutions to regional challenges, and create strategies for seizing opportunities in governance, economic opportunity, and youth empowerment.
The President’s Forum with Young African Leaders will also present the U.S. government and American friends of Africa with an opportunity to deepen and broaden our understanding of the trajectories of African societies and to reflect on how the next generation are building their communities and nations’ futures – just as their predecessors did in the era of independence from colonial rule.
In addition to the town hall meeting with the President, the forum will include small-group discussions on topics such as transparency and accountability, job creation and entrepreneurship, rights advocacy and the use of technology to empower individuals and communities.
African participants will have an opportunity to meet with grassroots service organizations to share experiences and strategies.