Ugandan delegates prepare to speak out on development at first African Youth Forum

At first glance, it seems an ordinary day in the UNICEF country office here – until the cameras zoom in and reporters begin interviewing young people selected as the Ugandan delegates to the first-ever African Youth Forum, or AYF. The Forum had been held in Entebbe from 17 to 19 July.

These 20 youth delegates come from every corner of the nation. In a series of exercises prior to the start of the AYF, they are learning how to make a meaningful contribution to the development agenda and become some of Africa’s strongest advocates for its youth and communities in need.

At the same time, an SMS text-messaging campaign – designed by UNICEF’s Technology for Development unit and promoted through a national television network – is generating a strong response across Uganda. Young people are engaged in the campaign via cell phone and are involved in chat sessions with their peers as far as away Malwai and Madagscar via the Speak Africa online forum for African youth, as well as the social media sites Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

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