PR Expert and co-founder of RED, Mr. Adebola Williams, has urged the international community to support the aspirations of young Africans changing the negative narratives about the continent.
He said this at the inaugural edition of the European Conservatives and Reformists African Summit which took place in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday, 9 January, 2019.
According to a press release made available to THISDAY, the conference, witnessed by policy makers and thought leaders from across the world, was aimed at examining and strengthening opportunities for collaborative partnership between the European Union and Africa on democracy, security, economy, health related issues, emergent technologies, the use of development aid, developing a future relationship on trade cooperation, among other key areas.
Williams, during the conference, presented a paper to highlight the impact of youth culture on socio-economic development and the work of Statecraft Inc., the nation-building company under RED, in advocating for democracy and good governance in Africa.
Speaking at the event, the media entrepreneur and youth advocate called on Europe to discontinue its top-down foreign policy approach towards Africa while emphasising the need for a culture and citizen-driven engagement.
“Africa needs a citizen-driven, culture-based approach to governance, and not the top-bottom, imported one that has been propagated for years without desired results.
“With this understanding and using media as a tool, StateCraft Inc. has captured the imagination of young people and governments across Africa and beyond by mobilising young people to vote for credible candidates, designing effective policies, driving qualitative governance, and promoting citizen action and engagement,” Williams said.
He also highlighted the corruption allegations surrounding millions of Euros in aids finance from donors to support African countries, explaining that such monies are re-routed to safe havens and personal accounts.
“If the EU really wants to help Africa, it must assist those with their feet on the ground to make change. If the EU cannot achieve this, the youth of Africa will, because our passion is bigger than our problem”, William noted.
Speaking further he said, “The European Union, more than ever in its history, needs to collaborate actively with these foot soldiers of democratic growth in Africa to promote good governance and demographic dividend.
“It must focus on developing a new crop of young, talented Africans with the wherewithal to create value and change the fortunes of the continent. There is a willing, already active community of doers whose track records guarantee a return on such investments.”