Tanzania’s Global Youth Summit Emphasizes Youth Roles

In the heart of Tanzania’s vibrant city, Dar es Salaam, nestled within the serene campus of the University of Dar es Salaam, something extraordinary was brewing in early October 2023.

BY ZINDZI KWAVAYI

The air was filled with hope, determination, and youthful energy as the Global Youth Climate Summit unfolded, uniting 200 delegates in person and another 300 virtually from across 24 countries.

This four-day event was not just another summit; it was a galvanizing experience, an adventure that illustrated the remarkable power of youth in combatting climate change.

Day 1: October 4, 2023 – “No Time to Waste”

The summit commenced with an electrifying opening ceremony and a plenary session titled “No Time to Waste.”

Here, the eager delegates were warmly welcomed by Professor Joel Nobert, Director of the Institute of Resource Assessment at the University of Dar es Salaam, and Ejaj Ahmad, the visionary CEO and founder of the Global Youth Leadership Center and the driving force behind this incredible summit.

As the sun dipped below the Tanzanian horizon, discussions continued with fervor in fireside and plenary settings, ably moderated by the charismatic youth leader Shamim Wasii and the day concluded with a fireside dinner, with delegates bonding over shared dreams of a greener, more sustainable future.

Day 2: October 5, 2023 – Leading in Times of Crisis

The second day dawned with a thought-provoking discussion led by Mr. Ejaj Ahmad, focusing on “Leadership in Times of Crisis.”

Delegates from different corners of the world shared their insights on the most effective leadership styles during turbulent times.

Following these eye-opening conversations, the day was dedicated to workshops conducted by Ashoka East Africa. These workshops were designed to emphasize the power of storytelling as a tool for change-makers.

Storytelling, a cherished tradition in Africa, has been used for generations to pass down wisdom, knowledge, and culture. It’s also a potent instrument for conveying the urgency and impact of climate change.

The evening they brought a beautiful culmination to the day in the form of a cultural night. Delegates proudly showcased their unique ways of life, cultures, and traditions. As they danced, sang, and shared stories, the ties between them grew stronger, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries.

Tanzania's
Youths engage in discussions during the Tanzania’s Global Youth Summit

Day 3: October 6, 2023 – Taking Action for a Greener Future

Day three was the summit’s highlight as it provided a hands-on experience for the delegates to take collective action. In the morning, they joined hands with local communities and the Ministry of Forestry to engage in a critical activity: mangrove restoration along the Kunduchi Coastline. Mangroves, nature’s shield against coastal erosion, were given a new lease on life, highlighting the global youth’s commitment to ecological conservation.

Next, the delegates embarked on an excursion to the Pugu Kazimbuzwi National Reserve. Here, they were treated to an exclusive encounter with Tanzania’s culture through vibrant dances and soulful songs. They experienced an authentic bush lunch, enjoying regional delicacies amidst the beauty of nature. The adventure continued with hiking, cave exploration, and kayaking, connecting the delegates with the essence of Tanzania’s wilderness.

Day 4: October 7, 2023 – Pledges, Promises, and Progress

The final day of the summit was a culmination of ideas and commitments made over the previous days. Delegates reaffirmed their unwavering dedication to climate action, culminating in the formulation of the Dar es Salaam Youth Climate Declaration. This crucial declaration pinpointed four priority areas for the global youth collective:

1. Education: Recognizing the importance of education in raising climate awareness and fostering eco-conscious leaders of the future.

2. Youth Climate Entrepreneurship: Encouraging and supporting young entrepreneurs to develop innovative climate solutions.

3. Youth as Accountability Partners and Policymakers: Empowering youth to hold governments and corporations accountable for their environmental commitments and to participate actively in policymaking.

4. Access to Climate Financing: Ensuring that financial resources are available for youth-led climate projects and initiatives.

The summit wasn’t just a gathering of bright minds; it was a rallying cry for a generation that refuses to let climate change define its destiny.

Tanzania’s Global Youth Climate Summit 2023 in Dar es Salaam illuminated the path forward. It was a testament to the power of unity, determination, and youthful spirit in the fight against climate change.

As the summit came to a close, the delegates departed, not as individuals from diverse backgrounds, but as a global family committed to nurturing our planet. The echoes of their promises continue to resonate, reminding us all that there truly is “No Time to Waste” when it comes to securing a sustainable future for generations to come.

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