“i-Boot Camp, where the i serves as a reminder that at YALDA we are here to inspire youth to innovate and implement ideas that will have a positive impact on our beloved African continent”
The YALDA 2016 i-Boot Camp will be held from Wednesday, 5th October to Sunday 9th October, 2016 and will engage and empower 350 youth to build viable and sustainable enterprises across African borders in a high intensity and fast-paced environment, thereby fostering regional integration from the bottom-up. The i-Boot Camp will incorporate YALDA’s previous conference structures encompassing four key areas: industry specific panel discussions; IDEA labs; workshops focused on refining ideas and refining skills, and site visits to youth-led projects and businesses across Buea and Yaounde, Cameroon.
In our quest to leave no African youth behind, YALDA will introduce two more languages of participation at this year’s i-Boot Camp: French and Portuguese. As communication is a very vital part of Regional Integration, we want to ensure that all brilliant ideas from all over the continent are shared and that language is not an impediment. All documents and summary presentations will be available in one of these three languages. Additionally, YALDA will continue to offer e-participation that we recently introduced at the YALDA 2015 i-Boot Camp that was held in Nairobi, Kenya. This will allow delegates who are unable to travel for whatever reason the chance to register and participate online through audio live streaming, video streaming, online communications/feedbacks including live feeds on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, MindMixers and Vimeo.
First and most importantly, the i-Boot Camp serves as a space for youth to come together to share, develop or expand tangible ideas. Starting with the site visits, young people will learn first-hand what it takes to create a viable enterprise in Cameroon and learn about the challenges young people like them have faced and how they translated these into successful initiatives. The following days of the i-Boot Camp will be filled with activities that allow the delegates to share and refine their distinctive ideas within a very short time frame on a very demanding schedule with required daily written assignments that are expected to be completed before registration for the following days activities. Additionally, the various workshops and seminars will give youth the avenues and direct them to resources to bring their ideas to fruition in their respective countries and beyond.
Delegates will be given an opportunity to then present these unique ideas to industry experts for constructive feedback during the industry panel sessions, in which they will also receive further leads for more support in the idea implementation stage. The industry specific panel sessions will not only educate participants on opportunities arising from various sectors but will also sensitize youth on the stakes involved when it comes to their specific industries potential that can be unleashed through regional integration. Some of these sectors or industries include: agriculture; civil society and community development; retail and hospitality; multi-media, manufacturing; IT & Communication, and natural resource beneficiation. Some of the best ideas/initiatives under the respective panels will be rewarded with a sponsorship package to kickstart the initiative in the community of the winner while promoting the very theme of the conference of fostering regional integration.
Lastly, delegates will have an opportunity to network with Africa’s leading professionals across various sectors, and build relationships with their peers from different countries. This will enable delegates to build knowledge sharing networks beyond their home countries, in order to leverage the power of Africa’s regional integration and position delegates for success beyond their home countries.
Undoubtedly, at YALDA we believe the crux of this conference is to enable young Africans to share and cooperate across racial, cultural, religious and national boundaries and to have an Africa developed by Africans. Creating awareness is the strongest foundation for prosperity and by sharing lessons from past experience and developing enterprises to address Africa’s challenges, young people will be instrumental in helping avoid duplication of effort, synchronising efforts for a regionally integrated Africa and strengthening efficient resource mobilisation thereby spurring the African continent to greatness!