Honourable Shina Peller , a member of the House of Representatives from Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa federal constituency, Oyo State, was on Wednesday, night honoured in Ethiopia with Distinguished Personality Award by the Jet Age Nation Builders.
Peller, who was honoured in Addis-Ababa alongside other prominent African personalities like President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Governor Makieni County (Kenya), Kiwutha Kibwana, Dr Abdul B. Kamara (Ethiopia), Country Manager, African Development Bank, Ms Aya Chebbi, African Union Special Envoy on Youth (Tunisia) among others, also delivered a paper on a topic – Defining Africa’s Future.
Whilst delivering his paper, Peller emphasised the pivotal roles of the youth in building and consolidating sustainable and transformational legacies for the African continent and added that in achieving this, African youths must be ready to deviate from all manners of entitlement to meaningful engagement.
He stated that youths are very vital to the survival and progress of Africa in all aspects and urged them to get involved in political processes by joining political parties to enable them to have the largest stake in governance.
“We are all familiar with the indices showing Africa’s enormous natural and human resources, though it presents a promise that is yet to be fulfilled. Regardless of these endowments, there are numerous challenges to positioning Africa in its rightful place, some of which include leadership, racism, xenophobia, institutional corruption etc.
“Youth, therefore, holding the greater percentage of our population, are critical to the survival and progress of the African continent in all respects. Even the seeming ‘inexperience’ of the youth provides an opportunity to free oneself from the boundaries of previous thinking in the pursuit of the future, charted by those with imagination, courage and relevant knowledge.
“This pivotal position requires a focus on the strategic importance of our ‘youth constituency’ to build and consolidate on legacies that are sustainable and transformational. It then means that African youths must deviate from all manners of entitlement to meaningful engagement.
“If you do not take anything away from what has been said here today, please note this down: As young Africans, joining a political party should be your top priority. And I will advise that you join the big political parties. I say this because power is not served a la carte. Yes, we are young people but that in itself is not a criterion to become a leader. We have to get involved in political processes. With our numbers, we should have the largest stake in governance.
“According to the African Leadership Institute report, we possess an abundance of Young African Leaders but no seat at the table. Approximately 700,000 young Africans have already been exposed to some form of selective leadership initiative. What we should focus on is how we can tap into this pool of creative young leaders,” he said.