Photo: Essay Competition finalist Mellany Metah speaking at the Sustainability Trends Breakfast Meeting
Nairobi August 29, 2018- A group of Kenya youths were named winners of the 2018 WESustain Africa Essay Competition. The finalists’ essays included an in-depth analysis of multiple challenges and opportunities presented by the Global 2030 Agenda; Sustainable Development Goals.
Emerging in the top ten of the total essays submitted, the focus of the winners was Hunger, Poverty, Education, Health, Consumption & Production, Policy and Trade as the challenges facing Africa; social entrepreneurship, technology and the youth dividend were presented as the opportunities that the youth can exploit to make the global vision 2030 a reality. The writers also proposed a set of concrete recommendations for multiple stakeholders that would promote an integrated ecosystem of support for youth-led sustainable development.
Snapshot of Top Three Essays
The top three essay winners tackled sustainability issues, albeit in an innovative way. Addressing the raw material commodity export tragedy that Africa faces, the winning article by Jeremy Njonge proposed that the regional trade blocks: AU, IGAD, SADC re-evaluate our current approach to international trade to minimize the export of raw materials.
Highlighting the role of youths in governance Aukot Simon noted, “The youths of Africa in the boards of environmental agencies and organizations should be part of the environmental policy formulations and implementations in order to make decisions that are environmentally friendly”.
Reuse, recycle and replace approaches to waste management was as well identified by Davis Otieno as an opportunity for the youths to generate revenue while addressing the waste menace growing by day in Africa.
Youth and the Sustainability Trends Breakfast
The winners of the WESustain Essay Competition were announced at a breakfast meeting on 2018 Sustainability Trends, hosted by Kenya Climate Innovation Center and KCB Group. During that meeting, there was much discussion of the importance of youth in achieving the SDGs.
For instance, Chief Guest Dr. Julius Muia, the Principal Secretary at the State Department for Planning, explained that more steps need to be taken to build up the youth to be the sustainable leaders of tomorrow. He proposed more investment in education on sustainability as well as trainings on entrepreneurship for youth. Given Kenya’s youthful population, he said, these are crucial steps to ensuring a more sustainable future for the country.
WESustain Essay Competition Winners
Below is a list of the ten finalists. Congratulations!!
Davis Otieno Opiyo