Yayra Adzofu: Reproductive Health Specialist; member of the African Union Youth Advisory Board; African Union Youth Volunteer Corp delegate; Pan African University graduate and Mandela Washington Fellow 2014, shares her journey of youth empowerment in her home country and beyond its borders.
I am a goal driven and enthusiastic young Pan Africanist from the Volta Region of Ghana and am passionate about women empowerment and youth development.
I am a Reproductive Health specialist with 7-years nursing experience from the Ghana health services. I see myself contributing to the advancement of health systems in Africa through cutting edge health research while driving youth development and women empowerment initiatives.
I am a director of Kairos Ladies Network and the Co-Founder of Youth Without Borders Ghana, a youth led organization focusing on unleashing the potentials of young people through skills and leadership development.
My official journey with the African Union began in 2015 when I was named African Youth Hero as part of the African Youth Day celebrations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Thereafter, I was invited to participate in inter-generational dialogues alongside the 26th AU Summit in January 2016 where I developed a sense of ownership and interest to promote the works of the AU/AUC as well as create awareness of the AU’s Agenda 2063.
I applied to be part of the Pan African University in 2015, after learning from a friend about its programmes. I was among the few applicants selected to study towards a Master of Health Science in Reproductive Health. I was excited about the scholarship because it will accelerate progress towards my ultimate goals of becoming a health researcher.
Africa is experiencing its largest youth population ever. If these young people are rooted in the ideals of Pan Africanism, embrace solidarity and unity, work together with a common interest and agenda they will take Africa to where it belongs – on the world’s stage.
In the near future, these youth are going to hold key decision-making positions on the continent and being rooted in Pan Africanism is important to build on what has already been done to achieve a united and integrated Africa.
Education is key and I’m a firm believer in educating girls. However, education alone will be meaningless without correct investments in the health of young people particularly in areas of sexual and reproductive health, mental health as well as combating HIV/AIDS and other STI’s.
It is when we have a healthy work force with the requisite knowledge and skills in an enabling environment that we can create the continental change we desire.
In addition, job creation and promoting entrepreneurship among the youth is also critical for Africa’s economic emancipation.