MEDIA NOTE: SEPTEMBER 18, 2013
On September 18, U.S. Ambassador to Botswana Michelle Gavin hosted the first meeting of the U.S. Embassy’s Youth Advisory Council. The Youth Advisory Council is comprised of 20 young leaders who were selected for their outstanding leadership skills and demonstrated ability to engage on issues and concerns that resonate with their peers and the local community. Participants included students, entrepreneurs, peer counselors, human rights and health activists, and young professionals.
During the meeting, participants viewed a screening of U.S. President Barack Obama’s June 2013 speech to African youth at the University of Cape Town, and held a discussion with Ambassador Gavin on solutions to issues facing Batswana youth. Topics discussed included unemployment and health issues, young people’s influence on the decision-making process, the Youth African Leadership Initiative (YALI), education, and political participation.
Addressing council members, Ambassador Gavin said, “It is clear to me that you are already leaders in your communities and I am confident that you will live up to the challenges facing your generation. With that in mind, let’s make today about more than a discussion. Lets look critically at the issues and then come up with an action plan of how you can work together to preserve Botswana’s legacy for future generations- for your children and grandchildren to enjoy after you.”
The Youth Advisory Council is part of the U.S. Embassy’s youth outreach initiative, which prioritizes engagement with young people in order to build their leadership and mentoring skills; provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to live positively; create opportunities for youth to network with each other and meet positive role models; and amplify the impact of youth on other youth.
NB: Youth Advisory Council members from the following organisations that have worked or are working with the embassy on youth projects; Botswana Student Network, University of Botswana, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Botswana Accountancy College, Yarona FM, Young Leaders Organisation, YOHO, UB MEPI, Generation Y, Young Chefs Academy, Econsult Botswana, Prolific Designs, UB Business School, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Tebelopele VTC Centres.