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Transformative Leadership, Culture of Unity, Pledges at “Together for a New Africa” Forum

Some participants in the nine-day second “Together for a New Africa” forum in Nairobi, Kenya, December 28, 2019 - January 5, 2020

Participants in the just concluded nine-day program bringing together 100 participants from seven African countries under the initiative “Together for a New Africa” have pledged to foster transformative leadership and promote a culture of unity in their respective communities.

“We, young leaders from Eastern Africa – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda –, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), along with participants from other countries, our tutors, lecturers, students of Sophia University Institute, and program coordinators, held our Second Summer School of “Together for a New Africa” (T4NA) at the Mariapolis Piero in Nairobi from December 28 -January 5, 2020,” the participants stated in a communique sent to ACI Africa on the last day of their program Sunday, January 5.

The participants highlighted their commitment, after days of deliberations about their African identity and leadership, and expressed their individual and collective dedication “to the task of bringing about transformative leadership in our communities, our countries and our continent and by so doing, transform not only Africa but the whole world.”

T4NA is an initiative of former students of Sophia University Institute run by the Focolare Movement. Created for training young African leaders to promote peace and unity on the continent, the initiative is in line with the core values of the Italy-based university, the mission of UNESCO and the African Union Agenda 2063 on good governance and democracy.

Convened under the theme “African Identity and Leadership for Unity,” the forum “helped us to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves as individuals, as the people of Africa, and as human beings sharing a common identity with the entire humanity,” the participants stated in their collective communique signed.

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“As Africans, like all other people, we are first and foremost human beings,” the participants recalled in their Sunday statement and clarified, “Although we belong to a particular family, to a clan, a tribe, a community or society that identifies itself as African, we are also citizens of the world sharing that identity with all other human beings.”

Looking back at their reflections since the beginning of their forum December 28, the participants stated, “We came to the realization that Africa cannot exist in isolation and that our communal identity does not exclude the rest of humankind.”

“Our guiding philosophy of Ubuntu embraces not only our familiar circle of relatives, friends and acquaintances, but also widens our horizons, opening outwards to include all humanity regardless of color or race. Ubuntu logically points us to the reality of universal fraternity of all human beings,” the 100 young African leaders added.

Referencing their discussions and resolution to foster unity as members of the global community characterized with distinguishing cultural traits, the participants testified that “the Culture of Unity, which is at the heart of our leadership training, is no longer a utopia but a realizable goal.”

“It follows that our undertaking to transform Africa is really an attempt to create a better world for all,” the participants stated.

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“A better Africa, an Africa governed in accordance with democracy and in which social justice and transparency are realized, can only translate into a better world,” the participants said and added, “It is this transformation that we are all committed to achieve.”

The first T4NA forum held from January 1-9, 2019 brought together 105 young African leaders from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and DRC and concluded with a commitment, on the part of participants, to promoting responsible citizenship for a new Africa.