IIDEA Inspiring the Youth of Tomorrow: Panel Session at the YouLead Summit 2017

IIDEA partners inspire and empower the youth of tomorrow by sharing their experiences during the YouLead Summit 2017. In a panel session under the theme of business and corporate leadership our partners demonstrated how youth in East Africa can get involved and how innovation in the region can be started up or scaled up.

The East Africa Youth Leadership Summit (YouLead) 2017 welcomed over 200 youth leaders from across the region to a 5 days conference “Unlocking Youth Leadership Potential: Youth at the Heart of East African Integration”. Different themes ranging from political leadership, over civil & social leadership to business and corporate leadership invited the participants to discussions, plenary sessions and thematic seminars from November 27th – 1st December 2017 in Arusha.

“If you are inspired, can I hear you clap? If you are inspired can I receive your innovative ideas next year?”

The IIDEA panel showcased how innovation can be supported for an effective regional integration. Within the EAC the demographics shift towards a very young society – therefore the need for youth empowerment is bigger than ever. IIDEA Senior Adviser Joyce opened the session by addressing the fear to start something new and innovative and the challenges that might be faced, then introducing our IIDEA partners and their experiences of overcoming these obstacles and copying with the struggle of accessing the job market.


Saara Saturo (Danceteam Africa) focuses on artpreneuers and creating employment in arts and culture empowering young artists that often gained their skills outside formal education. With their PAYA festival artists are trained in how to lead creative processes with youth. Their network of arts and culture connects artpreneurs across the East African region.

Godwin Ocen (CEFORD) introduces their mobile phone app Prokazia. The young entrepreneurs acknowledged that the linkage between educational establishments and employers is missing, addressing especially the challenges in protracted application processes. Prokazia helps to track internship opportunities to grant freshly graduated youth the first step into employment. The app aiming to become the Linkedin of Africa!

Chrispinius Onyancha (creativeDNA) revolutionizes health care in the EAC with their platform clinicPesa. With involving all hospitals and pharmacies in the region people without any insurance have the chance to get adequate and affordable health care provided. No money is lost in the process!

Boniface Ongom (NACOFU) presents the YE-App for Youth Employment in the EAC. This application provides information on job opportunities, capacity building and grants in the region. He passionately describes the long way to the top – weeks of locking yourself in a room to just focus on the innovative idea of the App, submitting in the last minute and finally becoming an IIDEA beneficiary.

David Orega (Sauti) also struggled after college to find a job, but is now working for Sauti Africa a platform for small-scale traders that provides information on trade, prices for commodities and offers the possibility to report cross-border experiences.

An audience full of the youth leaders of tomorrow!

Disclosing passionately the touching personal success stories of young entrepreneurs in East Africa ends in hands clapping enthusiastically and heads nodding in amicable agreement. Despite the long day and the late hour the audience is stoked by the inspiring projects of our IIDEA partners and the opportunity to be part of IIDEA in 2018.

A session with the stories of youths.

Stories of struggles.

Stories of hope.

Stories of success.

Stories of integration made real by citizens.

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