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ALA graduates win Davis Prize for Peace

Many of the African Leadership Academy’s students stay in touch with each other after graduating. Not too long ago, two such students, who had gone on to study at Colorado College and Westminster College, received $10,000 when their collaborative project in Kenya was recognised by the Kathryn Davis Projects for Peace programme.

Those interested in youth entrepreneurialism, such as Tunde Folawiyo, will probably know of Projects for Peace. This award was set up seven years ago, in order to encourage young people to work towards conflict resolution and peace around the world. The competition runs across 90 campuses in the US, and the money awarded to the winners is used to expand and improve upon their projects. The aforementioned ALA graduates, Joseph Tunde FolawiyoMunyambanza and Benjamin Munyao, won an award for setting up their Vijana Amkeni Sasa Initiative, which has two aims; to unearth the reasons behind the post-election violence which frequently occurs in Kenya, and to discourage young teens from getting involved in this type of conflict.

Their project involved conducting workshops on subjects such as entrepreneurship, youth empowerment and youth leadership.  They also hired a guest speaker, who helped them to explain the importance of establishing a peaceful society.  Lastly, they launched a national campaign called Youth for Peace, in a bid to prevent any further violence during or after the presidential elections that took place in March 2013.

Another ALA graduate, Hafsa Anouar, was also awarded a $10,000 cash prize through Projects for Peace, after he organised a 10-day National Entrepreneurial Camp in Morocco. This summer camp was designed to help teens aged between 16 and 19 to get to grips with the basics of entrepreneurialism, with the view that this would help to address the country’s issue of youth unemployment over the coming years. Those involved in the world of business, like Tunde Folawiyo, will understand the importance and value of this type of initiative.

In an interview, Hafsa explained that the overall rate of unemployment in Morocco is 9%, and in his view the government is simply not doing enough to create work for young adults. He went on to say that his goal is to transform the younger generation into a group of job creators, who are able to set up their own ventures. His training camp was not a one-off affair, but rather the beginning of a series of regular events that will continue to run for the foreseeable future.

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