BUJUMBURA August 24th (ABP) – Young Africans would gain “confidence in themselves” to take advantage of Africa’s “many” potentials, as argued in Bujumbura on Wednesday August 22, 2018 by Mr. Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, former President of the Republic of Burundi.

Mr. Ntibantunganya held a press briefing after having made a presentation in an international conference on the role of African youth in peacebuilding in Africa, co-organized by two international NGOs, namely the American Friends Services Committee (AFSC) and Norwegian Church Aids (NCA), under the theme: “Young people as peacemakers: building the capacity of peace ambassadors”.

The meeting brought together young Africans from 11 countries, namely Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Indeed, said Ntibantunganya, in view of the mineral wealth and forest reserves that Africa has, and the dynamism of the African population, young Africans must understand Africa as a continent of the future through “many” potentialities that it contains today. For him, young Africans must look to the future, drawing particularly on the achievements of China’s “extraordinary rise” in economic growth over the last four decades. With that, he evoked the book titled “When China wakes up, the world will quake” published in 1973 by writer Alain Peyrefitte, Fayard Editions.

“It is noted that China has been awake for forty years, and the world trembles because China has today become a respected power in economic strategies, international diplomacy and military strategies. China has come to such ascendancy because it knew how to organize itself by emerging from the serious crises it had known before the 1950s. And today, in terms of foresight, some see Africa in the same role as China today, in about fifty years at most, “said the former Burundian Head of State.

As a result, he called on young Africans to prepare for it by creating “an inter-African youth” for Africa from 2050 to 2100. In his opinion, such a youthful momentum could give a boost, at the continental level, to the good management of the “painful African past” by young Africans to plan for the future. The new dynamic observed today at the level of the organization of some African countries with “good performances” in the process of their socio-economic development is to attest it, he insisted.

In those emerging African countries, he mentioned South Africa, which is now part of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). However, he pointed out, Burundian youth is still in the process of resolving the challenges.

“Indeed, young Burundians must quickly cross the suspicions that have marked their country for several years to better project in the future and better fit into this African dynamic  emerging,” he recommended . He pointed out that, now, young Burundians are beginning to see “reflexes of hope” in the sense of getting rid of the old “political manipulations” that had long been a focus for them. Over the past three years, he said, young Burundians have already made important progress in the process of national reconciliation.

“Today, the big challenge is to ensure that young Burundians manage to convince their parents to free themselves from their tragic past by confronting the thorns that dot the issue of reconciliation through obstinacy in seeking the truth about the bloody cyclical crises that punctuated the five decades of post-independence Burundi history, “he added.

Note that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Burundi (TRC) which took its inception in May 2014 and operational from December of the same year, is responsible in particular for shedding light on the “serious violations of human rights” recorded in Burundi for 46 years, from 1st July 1962 to 4th December 2008.

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