AASI Bingu’s Graduation 2017
The Association of African Students in India is committed to the growth and development of Africans studying in India. The Bingu’s Graduation day is one of the numerous platform AASI uses to engage, recognize and celebrate deserving students who have fulfilled all academic requirements while studying in India and establish realistic methods of linking them together for the common goal of developing our continent Africa no matter the country they come from in country they come from in Africa. By doing this we intend to make African youths in India and all around the globe believe in Africa as an ideal destination to truly explore their potentials and to actually return home to take advantage of these opportunities thereby contributing to the development of the African continent.
To celebrate the achievements of the Graduates for successfully completing their studies in India
To promote unity and solidarity among African Students in India.
To coordinate and intensify cooperation among graduating Africans and encourage them to return to Africa to foster the development of the African continent.
To showcase the talents of the African Continent and to make youths of Africa aware of the opportunities available for them to explore and maximize their potentials in Africa.
To promote the African culture, natural resources and amazing opportunities that Africa offers as a destination for talented young people.
This year’s Bingu’s Graduation Ceremony had H.E. Alem Tsehaye Woldemariam, Dean of African Missions and the Eritrean Ambassador to Mali as the Chairman of the occassion. Other dignitaries present were H.E. Ali Illiassou, Nigerien Ambassador to India, H.E. Yeah Samake Niankoro, Ambassador of Mali to India, H.E. Mrs. Rosette Mossi Nyamale, Congo DRC Ambassador to India, Mrs. Indrayani Mulay, Deputy Director, Confederation on India Industiries (CII) – Special Guest and Dr KK Singh, Chairman and founder, International Youth Committee (Africa).
In his keynote address, H.E. Yeah Samake Niankoro congratulated the graduating class of 2017 for this achievement. I want to tell you that it gives me immense pride to share in your joy and accomplishments. A graduation ceremony is a singular momentous event in your lives. You are now at the threshold of a new and exciting phase in your lives as you go out into the world. Take the time to savor this moment and the journey that has led you to this point as you plan for what is ahead.
The Bingu Graduation Ceremony is the culmination of your hard earned success. This event is also a celebration of your organization, the Association of African Students in India, for creating a community and support system for African students. I would like to express my appreciation for the leadership of the Association of African Students in India for inviting me and the rest of the diplomatic corps to share in your success, because your success is truly our success. Your success is Africa’s success.
Africa is a young continent. Close to sixty-five percent of the population is under the age of 35. By 2030, 1.1 billion Africans will be of working age and entering the labor market. Africa has experienced unprecedented economic growth over the last decade. These positive outcomes, however, are offset by a number of challenges including persistent inequities in education, health, employment and food security. The youth are integral to addressing these problems, and to Africa’s economic growth and social transformation. You have three distinct qualities distinguishing you from the older generation: 1) you are more educated and therefore more adaptable to new technological advances; 2) you are more likely to take risks; and 3) you are not afraid to question and challenge certain norms and practices. Too often, we have not provided the youth with the support they need to realize their potential. The youth in Africa, at times, have been erroneously perceived as lacking capabilities and being passive to their circumstances. But you have raised your voices and demanded to be included in the political and economic processes in Africa. As leaders we recognize that the youth are Africa’s most valuable and dynamic asset. You bring energy, resilience, and transformational value to Africa. It is this realization that has led the African Union to recently adopt a comprehensive platform for engaging the youth in democracy and sustainable development processes. Countries across Africa are harnessing the youth dividend to drive our continent’s economic growth. As political leaders, it is our responsibility to provide you, the youth, a supportive environment for your ideas, initiatives and creativity.
Our continent is rapidly changing. We have witnessed the wide proliferation of mobile phones, expansion of internet access, innovative banking and payment systems throughout Africa. The youth have been at the forefront in tapping into this digital revolution, and are providing creative solutions and services in a wide range of fields. These changes are providing the youth with tools to be the true architects of their own future. You represent the generation that views the challenges confronting our continent not as obstacles but as opportunities for innovation and ingenuity.
From Khartoum to Mogadishu and Lagos to Bamako, there are many examples of young people making significant contributions to the development of Africa. Take the case of Moctar Dembélé and Gérard Niyondiko, two students from Burkina Faso and Burundi who designed the Faso Soap, a cost-effective mosquito repellent as an alternative to the more expensive mosquito prevention products currently on the market. In response to drought and uncertain weather conditions for farmers, Rosine Mwinseneza from Rwanda created the Ivomerere system, an automated irrigation system that uses sensors to detect soil moisture. John Mbindyo, a 28 year old IT graduate created the FreshBox, a solar a solar-powered, walk-in cold room that provides retailers with storage facilities to preserve perishable products. Samuel Malinga, a 26 year old Ugandan agricultural engineer who developed a full-cycle sanitation system which starts with a locally manufactured latrine and ends with converting the waste into cooking bricks and agricultural manure. These examples are just a fraction of the myriad of novel solutions developed by the youth in Africa to tackle some of our continent’s problems. I hope they inspire your entrepreneurial and creative spirit, and motivate you to seize opportunities to turn your vision for yourselves and for Africa into reality.
You are here today at this graduation ceremony because of your dedication, drive and hard work. As you return to your respective countries, I encourage you to build on the foundation of the knowledge and skills that you have acquired here. Reflect carefully on how you can utilize your talents to make your mark, and to build a better future for yourselves, your countries and for Africa. Be the innovators and visionaries that our continent needs to advance development and peace.