Led by a strong and innate desire to contribute to making a better Africa and throughout my studies, I became interested in the interplay between research and development. The AU-YVC program provided me with a great opportunity to be part of an international organization that exposed me to various international development projects and research. I learned about the critical role that evidence-based decision-making plays in building stronger and more sustainable policies, economies and societies, thereby supporting sustainable development. In particular, the impact of education systems on social and economic development of Africa.
Through AU-YVC Program I was deployed at UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) as a research and resource mobilization specialist. Established in 1999, UNESCO IICBA is the only UNESCO Category I institute in Africa mandated to Strengthen teacher policy and development in Africa.
Not having a chance to work physically, meet my colleagues and explore the culture in the host country was a big opportunity that COVID-19 stole from me. However, the new experience of working remotely gave me a chance to learn how to work independently while improving my communication and time management skills. It also challenged me creatively while feeling that I was contributing towards something worthy.
I learned a lot from virtual team meetings and how projects were discussed and implemented. I very much appreciated IICBA's leadership style. During our virtual meetings, there was plenty of room to ask questions and suggest new ideas. Even though some of us had never met, the atmosphere was very Inclusive and collaborative. When I see the materials that I have developed being used, it is always a rewarding moment.
Becoming AU YV has definitely changed my perspective on Africa. I learned a lot about the current development challenges of Africa and all the efforts being made to solve them. It opened my eyes to the role anyone can and should play in the community to build the Africa we want. It pushed me to project myself and have bigger aspirations.
I encourage all young people to get involved to bring a positive change in this world. We have a role to play and I believe that this AU-YVC initiative allows us to bring out the best in ourselves. I hope that other organizations and institutions in Africa will learn from this experience in supporting young people in Africa.
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