In 2008, Makerere University in Uganda hosted the second biannual YALDA Conference with the theme of “Overcoming Obstacles on the Continent and Beyond.” Over 8 countries participated in the event with over 160 delegates in attendance.

Conference Highlights

The keynote address was given by motivational speaker and trainer Mr. Pete Ondeng, the former CEO of the Eastern Africa Secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). He also gave a workshop on Economic Development and Youth Impact on the second day of the conference focusing harnessing the potential of youth to develop African economies.  Mr. Ondeng encouraged young people to stop waiting for someone to give them jobs and to create their own employment, “you cannot continue to think that someone else will create the Africa you want to live in, it is upto you to take charge of your life, and turn your vision into action.  No one will do it for you!”

The Head of BBC Swahili, Solomon Mugera, also made his contribution to the conference by discussing media in his Workshop, What we see, what we think: Media perceptions of Africa portrayed by African media, and cautioned the young people to seriously reflect on the images they see of Africa in the media and not let negative perceptions deter them from painting their own Africa in a positive and inspirational light.  Ms. Regis Namuddu and Mr. Patrick Lubogoyi took a joint workshop that had delegates looking introspectively when they were asked, Are You Part of the Problem or Solution: Whose Responsibility Is It to Develop Africa?  Delegates were asked to reflect on what notable contributions they had made in their communities lately, and if not what was keeping them from making an positive impact.

With the advent of the 21st century, Information Technology has become an integral part of society. A panel centred on Science, Engineering and Information Technology was conducted by Mr. Seewanyana, Dr. Izael Pereira Da Silva and Jeff Ekongot equipping the delegates with the ability to manipulate ICT in their favour.

The conference also gave the delegates an opportunity to learn how to channel their passion. This was facilitated by Ms. Deborah Kaddu-Serwadda, Partner and Executive Director of Icon and Associates who held a workshop on “I want to help but where and how?” In addition to this, the Managing Director of Coca Cola Uganda, Fred Kyaka Gyavira and CEO of Info Nassir Katuram also spoke on capacity building with an emphasis towards leadership training.

The conference was concluded by the Executive Director the Uganda branch, Ram Hadji, giving a talk on the new direction YALDA will be taking as an organisation by including Model African Union as one of the organisation’s primary programs.

The delegates also got to sightsee and tour the beauty and culture of Kampala and, in the evening, the delegates were hosted at a YALDA fundraising dinner that was a resounding success.