“It does not matter where we come from or what we look like. If we recognize our abilities, are willing to learn and to use what we know in helping others, we will always have a place in the world.”
Strathmore University through the Students Council unit has been one of the significant institutions, championing the recently concluded United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD14) youth forum.
The youth involvement in this ministerial conference is in support of the movement towards an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development. Strathmore University hosted the welcoming cocktail for the youth, setting the pace for interactions amongst all the participants for the UNCTAD 14 youth forum.
The UNCTAD youth forum attracted delegates from all over the world, who deliberated on youth influence on trade and development; guided by the themes of better jobs, quality education and state accountability in public and the private sectors. The deliberations discussed in the youth forum were agreed to be presented in form of a youth declaration in view of reaching all young people and empowering young women, young men, girls and boys to be agents of positive transformation in the globe.
With over 250 participants, 140 different nationalities, along with 1000 participants who participated online, Strathmore University featured as the institution with the largest representation. The students volunteered in all departments of the conference including office of the secretary general and the UNCTAD secretariat.
Strathmore University further provided moderators in high level negotiation led by Dr. Njenga, Dean of The SBS, Facilitators in the youth forum discussions led by Guguni Nyabade, Chairperson of the Student council and Moderators in drafting of the youth declaration led by Lynette Mwende, Public Policy Masters student at the Business School. The interaction of the University with the conference further provided a truly global view on the tools needed to operationalize the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in areas of trade and development, especially for the youth.
The guests in attendance were; Dean of Strathmore Business School Dr.George Njenga; the Executive Director of Ongoza Kenya Mr. Alexei Dunaway; Coordinator for the Youth Forum Arlette Verploegh; CEO of Seven Seas Technologies Mike Macharia and the Chairman of The National Alliance political party, (TNA), Johnson Sakaja.
With their deep knowledge and experience in their various professional areas, guests in attendance congratulated the audience consisting of youthful and eager to learn delegates to keep working on their goals and dreams in life. Following the Sustainable Development Goals agenda promoted by the United Nations, the speakers encouraged the audience to engage in entrepreneurial activities that are innovative and sustainable.
Moreover, they encouraged the youth to start small in their endeavors, finding their passion and pursuing them accordingly, persistently, while embracing failure as a necessity to their success.
The networking session allowed the guests and students alike to unwind with good music and food while they exchanged ideas and networks.
Article written by Wycliffe Guguni, Strathmore University_ Student Council President.