Addis Ababa 10, May 2012

Before the official opening of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Addis, President Kagame today met with 32 Global shapers – a global network of local communities set up one year ago by the WEF to engage in its events and activities.

Local communities are called hubs, globally there exists 157 hubs with more than 1200 members. Global shapers have representatives in Sub-Saharan Africa consisting of 38 hubs and an additional 12 from North Africa. The leaders are under the age of 30 and gather on a regular basis to engage in activities and projects to benefit their local environments.

President Kagame Expressed his gratitude to the leaders and urged them to have self-belief, inorder to handle tasks that will shape the continent.
“This gathering of Global Shapers from our continent gives me great hope of the direction our continent is taking and I think a lot is going to happen in the basis of your efforts as young people who feel its their responsibility to handle tasks and place Africa where it wants to be. It’s very encouraging. Thank you for that. “If I can be real with you and speak about my own situation, the challenges I have faced; having to build a country from scratch there are two things we have to do or encourage. To be a good leader, there has to be a clear message; definition of a problem, how to deal with the problem and a demonstration to show what needs to be done and then, put systems in place to keep people accountable. Never leave things to chance. I learn a lot of things as I go along. I think it is important to emphasize to young people to never assume that you know, always assume that you don’t know. Always listen and learn.’’

Leyla Gozo is the Interdata Group Ltd, Business Development Manager for West and Central Africa and founding curator of Lome hub in Togo;

“President Kagame represents a President that has shown the difference definitely, he has been a role model for inspiring the way he has changed Rwanda and how Rwanda has become an example. So I am really referring to his ideas because he has the ideas because to me he has a vision. In reference to the discussion today, its positive, one question that was asked to him when he was our age, his ideas on Rwanda and how the country had changed. What he shared with us is positive and we will try to bring those changes in our respective countries.

According to the African Development Bank, over 60% of Africa’s population is below the age of 24. People under the age of 30 constitute more than half of the world’s population and Africa has the fastest growing and most youthful population in the world.