Turning the Tides in Africa

Bako Kantiok: How do we change Africa for the better within the next 10 years?


In my opinion, the Dakar Seminar is further evidence of President Obama’s commitment to engage Young African Leaders in finding solutions to some of Africa’s problems.

Three years after attending President Obama’s Town Hall meeting for Young African Leaders at the White House, I have again had the unique opportunity to reunite with some of my YALI cohorts as well as cohorts from subsequent YALI initiatives.

This seminar has given me the opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas on a range of social development activities such as Youth Development, ICT for Development and Leadership and Democracy. More so,  this seminar has enabled me recognize some of my successes and failures as a young leader and how to improve upon them.

The sessions and facilitators  have been great! My personal favorite was “What Does It Mean to Be a Young African Leader” facilitated by Dr. Ousmane Sene, Director of the West Africa Research Center. He asked the young leaders probing questions about leadership and challenged us to assume our roles as leaders in our respective communities.

On a personal note, I think the night life in Dakar is a mirror of its people – warm, lively and inviting.

However, it’s the beautiful view of  Senegal’s Atlantic coast  from the 7th floor of my  room at the Pullman hotel that reminds of the promise,  hope and future  of Africa’s Young Leaders.

So I guess the question for myself and my colleagues is: How do we change Africa for the better within the next 10 years?

Bako Kantiok