News / Africa

Johannesburg Hosts One Young World Summit

Youth delegates hold their national flags during the opening ceremony for the One Young World summit at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, Oct. 2, 2013.
Youth delegates hold their national flags during the opening ceremony for the One Young World summit at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, Oct. 2, 2013.
Johannesburg this week is hosting the fourth One Young World Summit - with close to 10,000 kids from around the world and special inspirational speakers like Kofi Annan and Richard Branson. The objective: to debate ideas and initiatives to change the world. 

In front of a thousand young people from all around the world, the story of a woman who escaped an abusive husband in her homeland, India, is just one of many that are being shared during three days of meetings in Johannesburg.

Rodrigo Marcondes, a 24-year-old student in computer science from Brazil, came to the summit in order to exchange views and ideas, and to be inspired.

"I feel most people here don't have the same opinion as me, and I feel that together we can share ideas, and the idea here is to make a better world. Just like Kofi Annan said: if you don't agree with something, you have to go for your opinion and raise your voice," he stated.

For others like Tribute Mboweni - who is involved in a project that gives environmental education - besides getting inspiration, the event also gives the chance to exchange tips to help each other.

"There are young people who are doing projects in their countries and have access to some kind of funding. So it's great to sort of brainstorm with them how they access their funding," he said.

David Jones and Kate Robertson, from the French advertising group Havas created the One Young World initiative four years ago. Jones said the initiative aims at having young leaders discuss their respective work and to believe in themselves.

"We think that it can play a role as a catalyst and drive a positive change in the world and empower this brilliant generation to get more done," he explained.

To inspire these young leaders even more, famous speakers from various domains have traveled to Johannesburg such as former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, Virgin Airways founder Richard Branson and microcredit inventor Mohammed Yunus.

Annan praised the young generation and urged them to take action to solve the world's most pressing issues.

"We need you to deliver a better world by thinking globally and acting locally, for the first generation of true global citizens you must raise your sights beyond the short-term," he encouraged participants.

Bengali Mohammed Yunus said the young leaders should be inspired by South Africa.

"What South Africa has done, we can do it for the whole world. We can change it completely. Nobody ever thought that apartheid was going to get over. But you made it happen. You saved human dignity for the whole world," he stated. "And all the impossible that you see today will disappear like that."

The One Young World Summit will end October 5. Next year, the event will be hosted in Dublin, Ireland.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid