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Five Lessons From the EDDs 2017

Skills building time

During these past years as a youth advocate, I have learned to tell stories about the issues relating to my advocacy and why I am passionate about what I do. But for the EDD, I never knew there was more room for improvement. At EDD, I learned innovative ways of telling my story. The experiences got me thinking, telling my story was more than just talking. I understood better the fact that the first sentence of my story was more than just words put together. My opening sentence had to be captivating. From the individual speaking sessions to my main panel, I understood better and better the power a well-constructed and taught of sentence could have on a listener. I have come to learn to tell my story not for me alone, but for the people I speak for and with.


With 120 sessions, 7000 participants, heads of states from around the globe and 16 amazing young leaders, I find no better phrase than saying Partners for Development were in full action. The fact that all these stakeholders, including the United Nations, African and European head of states and civil society shared the same space was significant. Certainly that for me was one of the things that stood out. For me, that is the essence of partnership. Everyone coming together to address the problems, the challenges that the world faces now. Indeed, it is true that “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Together we forge grater partnership to solve the world’s problems.

Intergenerational Dialogue

I couldn’t end my opinion on partnership and leave out the beauty of inter-generational dialogue that was exhibited at the EDD. The Youth, adult partnership was at its best. I saw at firsthand the immense benefits that were gained during the various interactions, dialogues and sessions. With an older generation that have started something and a younger generation that is preparing to take over, there is no better way of debating development that a blend of the old and young. When I saw fellow young leader Tasneem Ovar share a stage with Jeffery Sachs and Mohammed Yunus, Richard Dzikunu share a stage the Christine Lagard and the other young leaders who spoke at high level panels, I wondered what economic, social and political solutions can’t be reached with such diversity. For me, I saw a perfect way of both sides benefiting especially when we talk about Agenda 2030. I saw a blend of both old and new ways of doing things and also an encouragement and capacity building for a young person to be able to address the problems the global world faces.

A family called young leaders

This was the icing on my cake. Yes, these amazing young leaders from different corners of the globe made my week. I looked at each and every one of them and I felt at peace knowing and believing that the world was becoming a better place with their help. More interesting was that, even though we came from different backgrounds, we blended peacefully and beautifully. As young people, we sometimes think we have no support and we are working in a vacuum, but the EDD was different , as I looked at the other young Leaders around me, I knew that I was not alone and together we are making a world of difference”. The European Commission

During the EDD, I was able to experience and understand the European Commission better as a body and how it works. The meetings with the various leaders of the Commission gave me the hope and some happiness because I knew an institution as big as the EC believed in young people. The European Commission believes the role today’s youth can play in driving the development agenda.

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