Youth Empowerment And Democratic Engagement: A Recap Of The All-Africa Conference Of Churches (AACC)

Wisconsin International University College, Ghana is proud to share the experiences of Raymond Osei Afoakwah, an MA International Relations student, who represented the university at the recent All-Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) in the Gambia from April 23rd to 26th, 2024 along with delegates from Ghana, Sierra-Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Gambia, Cameroon, Senegal, and Burkina Faso. Raymond’s active participation not only highlighted Wisconsin’s commitment to youth empowerment but also, provided valuable insights into democracy and governance discussions in Africa.

The conference commenced with a fervent devotion and an introduction by Justice Oman, the African Union liaison to the AACC, setting the stage for engaging deliberations. Throughout the event, Raymond contributed to panel discussions and moderated sessions, drawing from Ghana’s democratic journey.

On the first day, Raymond participated in discussions with colleagues from Gambia and Senegal, focusing on the state of democracy in Africa. He emphasized Ghana’s key pillars of democracy, such as constitutional frameworks, electoral management, civil society, and media freedom, while acknowledging persistent challenges like corruption and the need for press freedom.

Reflecting on the discussions, Raymond gained insights into Africa’s democratic progress, highlighting Gambia’s transition towards inclusive governance and Senegal’s resilient democratic institutions. Challenges such as electoral integrity and press freedom underscored the shared journey toward democratic consolidation.

Day two delved deeper into youth participation in elections and traditional peace-building mechanisms, with Raymond moderating discussions on the paradox of African elections. He stressed the importance of youth education and dialogue with traditional leaders, emphasizing the pivotal role of African youth in shaping democratic processes and advocating for electoral reforms.

Raymond’s experience at the AACC conference exemplifies the university’s commitment to nurturing global citizens and change-makers. His contributions enriched the dialogue on democracy and governance, showcasing the potential of youth to drive positive change across Africa.

As we celebrate Raymond’s achievements, we reaffirm our dedication to empowering future leaders and fostering meaningful engagement in global issues. Wisconsin International University College, Ghana remains steadfast in its mission to shape a brighter, more democratic future for Africa and beyond.

Raymond expressed gratitude to Wisconsin International University College for the opportunity and support extended throughout his journey, acknowledging the leadership of Mr. Jacob Fynn, the Chief Operating Officer, and Dr. Bony Yao Gebe, the head of the International Relations department. Special mention was made to Wendy Naa Kai Okantey, assistant to the COO, for her invaluable assistance.

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