AYC’s Leadership Shuttle (September Edition)

The African Youth Corner rolled out her flagship programme – The Leadership Shuttle – in September. The program seeks to raise young, effective and competent leaders in Africa. The launching of the programme was in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria – the current Headquarter of the organisation.


There were three sessions of the program in September. The participants were engaged with various topics relating to leadership such as:

• Understanding leadership;
• Concepts of Leadership;
• Leadership Styles;
• Decision Making process in Leadership; and
• Entrepreneurial leadership

Alfred Kingsley making a contribution

Participants raised critical questions concerning leadership in Africa and presented valid suggestions on how to raise effective leaders that would ensure a sustainable future for the great African continent.

Jane Uzor speaking on decision making

The Leadership Shuttle would be moving into grassroot communities in order to reach more marginalized young people, enabling them discover themselves, release their potentials and make valuable contributions to the society they find themselves.

After a session in the Leadership Shuttle

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Climate Change and Environment in Africa

Climate change is a global phenomenon. However, it has had and continues to have a bigger impact on African countries despite the fact that they emit relatively lower percentages of greenhouse gases. Also with an estimated annual population growth of 2%, the continent becomes increasingly vulnerable to climate change impacts. This is due to the fact that, the more the population increases, the more impacts of climate change are magnified as resources obtained from the environment are stretched to meet the needs of the population. It poses a unique challenge to Africa as much of its economy relies on climate sensitive natural resources such as rain-fed agriculture.


The impacts it has had on the African continent include irregular precipitation levels with areas such as semi-arid regions of south Sahara experiencing a decrease in rainfall whilst other regions like east central Africa experiencing an increase in rainfall. With most African communities relying on agriculture as a source of income, the irregular precipitation levels as a result of climate change has been and will continue to be stressful.  Botswana as a semi-arid country is more susceptible to the impacts of climate change. These impacts have manifested through drought which has left the country with an issue of increasing water scarcity. Botswana has relied a lot on food imports however; farmers who have made it their mission to help the country overcome its food insecurity have also found themselves in a tight corner as a result of extremely insufficient rainfall. Another example is Zambia which is a country known for its secure supply of hydro-electric power but it has also experienced drought hence low amounts of rainfall which affected the amount of power the country is able to generate resulting in blackouts. 

As a result, some businesses made losses leading to them closing down. Climate change also poses a threat as adverse changes in temperature and rainfall patterns are likely to increase the risk of insect-borne diseases such as malaria and may also create conflict over water and grazing resources.

Because African countries contribute less man-made effects of climate change their voice in terms of mitigation and adaptation negotiations have been rather minimal.  However, the continent could take serious continent-specific mitigation and adaptation measures. These include educating people on climate change and mitigation as well as increasing the use of renewable energy resources such as solar power and the use of bio-technology.

The writer of this article is Lebogang Motlalekgosi, a 26 year old from Botswana. She has passion for writing as well as issues concerning the environment. Connect with her on Facebook as Lebogang S A Motlalekgosi.

Nigeria’s 1st Olympic Rower Puts Medical School on hold and Self-financed her Rio Trip

Chierika Ukogu

Many athletes head to the Olympics thinking all about gold. For Chierika Ukogu, a 23-year-old Nigerian rower, simply getting to Rio is an incredible feat. She’ll soon be the first rower to ever represent Nigeria in the Olympics, and had to put off medical school and self-fund her trip to do it. The chance to win a medal is simply a bonus on top of what Ukogu’s already accomplished.

Just suiting up for Nigeria as a rower in the Olympics, which Ukogu will do in the single scull event, is a special thing. The country only recently set up its Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation. The hope was to have Nigerian athletes competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, but nobody had been aiming to participate in 2016. Well, nobody except Ukogu.

When she emailed the Nigerian Olympic Committee a few years ago asking about representing the country as a rower in Rio, she got ignored.

“Just emailing them and telling them, ‘Hey, I want to do this,’ meant nothing,” said Ukogu in a recent feature by Philly.com. “They ignored me because I didn’t have a plan.”

Now she’s preparing to be Nigeria’s first Olympic rower, and it’s not because she followed a traditional plan. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Nigeria who’s based in Philadelphia, Ukogu’s path to Rio has to be among the most unconventional. Many Olympic athletes are trained from a young age, with countless dollars poured into maximizing their potential. Ukogu is entirely self-funded and had to put off medical school for two years to pursue her dream.

When it comes to travel, training, equipment, coaching and whatever else goes into becoming an Olympic athlete, Ukogu has been footing the bill. She has no financial backing from Nigeria. Instead, money saved from a full-time job and a GoFundMe page have provided Ukogu the resources, such as training and an actual boat, to become one of the world’s best rowers. She’s trained at Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia, one of the most prominent boat clubs in the country.

“She’s earned this,” said John Parker, her coach at Vesper. “When she first said she wanted to row in the Olympics, to row for Vesper, I said she wasn’t good enough. … But she’s responded really fast. This whole year has been a steep learning curve.”

Ukogu rowed in high school and in college at Stanford University, but didn’t start thinking about the Olympics until four years ago. That’s when she saw another African rower, Hamadou Djibo Issaka of Niger, get mocked after a poor showing at the 2012 Games in London. The International Olympic Committee had decided to open up a spot in the single scull competition — the Olympic individual rowing event — for a country with a developing program. Issaka won the spot, but finished in last in London. Ukogu was so bothered by the way her fellow African rower was treated that she decided to make the Olympics a life goal.

“I was so riled up by watching him [and] people coming for him,” Ukogu said. “I didn’t want this to be the representation that people have of African rowers in general. I said, ‘I have dual citizenship. Yeah, I’m going to do this.'”

And what Ukogu established after committing herself to rowing was that she’s good enough. In October, she earned her spot in Rio by finishing third at the ISA African Qualification Regatta. In June, she quit her job as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania to focus on training for six hours per day. Even now, after so much training, she’s still learning and improving.

“There’s a certain strategy to rowing in a single that I’m still starting to grasp,” she said. “It’s more of a mental game than an eight, when you have a coxswain dictating what to do and that allows you to shut off your brain.”

Ukogu isn’t expected to win a medal, but she knows that simply wearing Nigeria’s green and white on the water in Rio will mean something to young people everywhere. She’s made incredible sacrifices in order to accomplish something nobody had done before. With or without gold, that’s something she hopes people will be proud of.

“If I show people that nothing is impossible, if I can spread that message, I’ve done my job,” she said. “A lot of people say, ‘How do you do all these things? How are you so determined?’ I know being in the U.S. has given me amazing opportunities, and I have to take advantage of them, not only for me, but for other people.”

Source: sbnation.com

#AYCchat on Gender Equality

The African Youth Corner (AYC) will be hosting a Twitter Chat on the 8th of March 2016 to mark the International Women’s Day. The theme for this year’s IWD is #pledgeforparity. The chat will be focused on Addressing Gender Equality.

As the Executive Director of the UNWOMEN,  Phumzile Mambo-Ngcuka said:

“We hope that by 2030 we can talk about gender inequality in historical terms”

The guests on the chat are:

1. FrekyFreky Andy: Freky is a passionate lady with a very large heart. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Freky is the Executive Director of the FAECARE Foundation.




2. DabsDaberechi Okedurum: Daberechi is an ideator and social entrepreneur. He is actively involved in youth development and is a Sidney Parnes Global Fellow on Creative Thinking.


Chat commences at 1400GMT (2pm Nigerian Time) and promises to be enlightening and interesting.

SDG Workshop in Somalia by the AYC

We kicked off the year 2016 with the African Youth Corner (AYC) team in Somalia hosting a huge workshop to sensitize citizens of the country about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The seventeen UN SDGs adopted by member nations on the 25th of September 2015 are to be achieved by the end of 2030.


It is the duty of every individual to see to their actualization. Everyone has got a part to play.

AYC Somalia Member, Ridwan Yusuf facilitating a session
Cross section of male participants
Cross section of female participants

Huge appreciation to the AYC Somalia Team – Abas Mohamed and Ridwan Yusuf – for putting the workshop together and facilitating it.

What You Need to Know About the Lassa Fever

As Nigeria still celebrate overcoming the deadly Ebola virus, another disease has broken out. Lassa fever also known as Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever (LHF) is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. The virus which was first described in Borno, Northeast Nigeria has been  known clinically for over a decade, but had not been connected with a viral pathogen. Lassa virus is transmitted by rodents (mouse or rat). The virus is probably transmitted by contact with the faeces or urine of animals accessing grain stores in residences.


While most humans are infected either from contact with an infected rat or inhalation of air contaminated with rat excretions, like other hemorrhagic fevers , Lassa fever can be transmitted directly from one human to another. It can be contracted through direct contact with infected human blood excretions and secretions, including through sexual contact. No evidence of airborne transmission person-to-person is seen. Transmission through breast milk has also been observed.

Common Symptoms of the Lassa Fever
• Nausea
• Vomiting (with blood)
• Diarrhea (with blood)
• Stomach pain
• Constipation
• Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
• Hepatitis
• Cough
• Chest pain
• Seizures

Lassa fever infections are difficult to distinguish from other viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola and Marburg, and from more common febrile illnesses such as malaria.

Curbing the Lassa Fever

The most effective way to curb the Lassa Fever is to prevent its spread by rats. Keeping rats out of the house and food supplies can be achieved by maintaining effective personal and environmental hygiene. The biological method of using cats to eat up rats may not be advisable as the effect of the virus on cats may be far worst and the spread rapid. Health workers attending to infected persons should be properly covered to avoid contact with any body fluid.

As of the moment, there is no known cure to the Lassa Fever.

AYC 2015 Report

2015 has been an awesome year for the African Youth Corner (AYC). Being the year of its inception, the Corner has reached over 200 students with developmental trainings.


The AYC organised a successful #YALIlearns event with the theme: Understanding Climate Change in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. The event brought together environmental experts, young passionate Nigerians and youth leaders. They discussed on how to address the issue of climate change in the world starting from their own communities.

The AYC had new members join the team from around Africa: Patricia Emeza, Abas Mohamed, Ridwan Yusuf, Faith Inameti and Ifiok Udoh. Together they made 2015 memorable.

It is our desire in the coming year to connect with more young passionate Africans who are willing and ready to be change agents in their community.

We thank all our team members, partners and advisers for all their efforts in 2015. Let us do more in 2016!


AYC Goes Green

Climate Change has become a major concern for everyone and the African Youth Corner (AYC) could not be left out.

On December 15th, 2015 the AYC put together a #YALIlearns event with the theme: Understanding Climate Change. YALI is Young African Leaders Initiative and it is an initiative of the United States Government introduced by the Obama administration. The YALI Network provides virtual resources and vibrant physical spaces to equip young African leaders with the skills and connections they need to foster change in their communities and their countries.

The event was facilitated by Mrs Christine Edet, an environment expert.

Participants were exposed to

1. The basics: The science of climate.
2. The impacts: How Climate change affects Africa.
3. The Solutions: Taking Actions to reduce Climate Change.

The materials from the YALI Network was very helpful in carrying out the event. Participants made action plans in the bid to address climate change.
Many thanks to the AYC Calabar Team, Mrs Christine Edet, the YALI Network, the iKapture Networks, and the participants.

Quotes of the Week

1. “As Africans, we need to share common recognition that all of us stand to lose if we fail to transform our continent.”- Thabo Mbeki.

Thabo Mbeki

2. “African leaders should not turn the continent into a giant collector of donations and loans from wealthy nations—they must find other plausible means to help established their economic security so as to minimize poverty. This incoherent blunder on the mainland must be scrutinized.” – Duop Chak Wuol

Release #Angola15 Activist!

Fifteen young activists have been unlawfully detained in Angola. Among them is the rapper Ikonoklasta whose real name is Luaty Beirão. They have spent the last few months behind bars on charges of plotting to overthrow Angola’s government.

Photo Credit: Vice News

As the controversial trial opens this week, the case has elicited international outcry from politicians and activists around the world against a government that appears determined to stifle dissent within the nation. The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) has governed the country since it declared independence from Portugal in 1975, and controls Angola’s valuable oil and mineral reserves. Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos has been in power for 36 years. (Vice News)

Bodies such as Amnesty International have expressed concerns on the imprisoned activists receiving a fair trial, due to the tightening of freedom by the government in the past few months.

“Our major call is really for them to be released unconditionally.” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Southern Africa.

The Angola 15, as the group has become known on social media, wore beige prison jumpsuits and — in a small act of protest as the long-awaited trial began — strolled into the courtroom barefoot for their first appearance on Monday. They were arrested during a politically oriented book club meeting on June 20, and their trial is expected to wrap up next week. Domingo’s da Cruz and Osvaldo Caholo, two other affiliated activists who are also set to face trial, have been out on bail since their arrests on June 21 and June 24.

Various youth organisations and activists have joined their voices to speak for a fair trial and/or unconditional release of the freedom fighters.

The African Youth Corner urges Africans, especially young Africans to join in this fight for their release using the hashtag #Angola15 or #liberdadeja on social media.

We are Africans, standing with and for Africa!!!