YATC 2018
YATC 2018 8

Understanding and Owning Africa’s Identity


Africa is renowned for its rich heritage, youthful population and boundless resources, despite which the continent still faces a myriad of challenges which currently impedes its development. In the past few decades, Africa has struggled with translating its rich natural resources, and the inherent spirit of creativity and innovation of its young people into economic advancement. Even though the governance structures at national and continental levels have intensified the focus on creating policy environments to accelerate development, a key component for Africa’s self-actualization remains largely ignored.

The mindset of people can either unlock the door to development, or conversely, shut off progress. A secure, confident and sound mindset could be the difference between Africa’s current reality and achieving our potential. As demonstrated by the 2018 African Union’s theme, Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path for Africa’s Transformation, the fight against corruption requires the urgent task of transforming our minds. To win the fight and set Africa on the path to sustainable development, beyond an enabling policy environment, individual ideas and habits must align with the development agenda envisioned by the AU’s Agenda 2063. This is a foundational and crucial step towards achieving the Africa We Want. 

The 2018 Young African Think’rs Convention (YATC) focused on these issues - understanding and owning the mentalities, lifestyles and daily cultures in the continent. By taking an intentional and critical look into the reality, the convention strives to identify the key steps towards transforming individual mindsets to align with our aspirations for development. This will touch upon the areas of identity, worldview and using the creative industry as an influencer

The convention saw the coming together of 100 young people from over 24 nationalities, from within the continent and diaspora. They developed frameworks for communicating messages such as vision, awareness creation of opportunities and resources available in the continent and the shared values of love, forgiveness and unity. The participants, mainly composed of young professionals from the creative industry, have gone back to their countries ready to engage and transmit the messages to their communities.