The transformative role that Seychellois members of the Global Shapers are playing in society was showcased in a presentation at a recent regional conference in Kenya.
Seychelles was represented at the conference under the theme ‘Africa’s Youth: Survive, Scale and Celebrate’ by Craig Francourt and Jeremy Raguain who are members of the Victoria Hub — the local branch of the Global Shapers.
Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network created in 2011 of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional and global challenges. The network has currently more than 7,000 members and spans 369 city-based hubs in 171 countries.
Francourt and Raguain who like many of their colleagues within the network are involved in a number of voluntary opportunities outside of Global Shapers, presented the outcomes of the Aldabra Clean-Up Project in which they were both involved.
The presentation showed the transformative role that the members are playing in society, both through hub projects and through collaboration on other notable causes in Seychelles.
Speaking to local reporters, Francourt said that attending the conference “has allowed me to start thinking about what the future landscape of work in the Seychelles will look like, where the deficits lie in terms of soft and hard skills for our young people, and how within GSVH (Global Shapers Victoria Hub) we can mount projects to help build their capacities.”
Francourt in his presentation at the conference that has allowed him to start thinking about what the future landscape of work in Seychelles will look like. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
Francourt said that the theme of the event aligned perfectly with the work that local hub has been conducting this past year on education and social inclusion.
“As we think about the opportunities and challenges presented by a growing youth population in the Seychelles, we need to ensure that our young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills to thrive and embrace this new age,” said Francourt.
He added that innovative technologies and sectors will ultimately shift the job market and move Seychelles forward so the future workforce needs to be ready for this revolution.
“As a starting point, however, we need to ensure that our young people are emotionally resilient, empowered and focused in school settings. We also need to ensure as a society that we do not leave marginalised groups behind and that the opportunities that open through new technologies and sectors are inclusive and accessible to all,” he said.
On his side, Raguain said, “This was the first time that I truly appreciated the global network of people I was connected to through Global Shapers. That realisation was as empowering as it was instructive. I got the chance to engage with and learn from trailblazers across the continent and the rest of the world. Discussing the future of work and education in Africa was particularly apt, given the theme of this conference. With a median age of 19, Africa needs its youth to seize opportunities to better its lot.”
Raguain had the chance to engage and learn with trailblazers from Africa. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
The event which was attended by 127 Shapers from over 40 countries worldwide, focused specifically on whether Africa’s growing youth population provides a dividend of opportunity or a bulge of challenges on existing infrastructure and resources.
The participation of Raguain and Francourt were partly funded by the British High Commission in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
The British High Commissioner, Caron Röhsler, said, “The British High Commission was happy to help Global Shapers with funding so they could focus their efforts on doing what they were set up to do, rather than spending valuable time raising money to do it! We want to help the youth of Seychelles fulfil their potential, whatever they aspire to, and to be in a position to shape their world.”
Abdullahi Alim, who is community manager at the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, told SNA that “the Victoria Hub is one of more than 400 hubs worldwide that carry out grassroots initiatives to tackle some of the most pressing problems in their communities.”
He added that “our team at the Forum consider the Victoria Hub as the frontline leaders in helping create truly inclusive and thriving communities in the city and we are eager to see them form even greater coalitions in order to bring unprecedented inclusive growth to the country at large.”
Francourt and Raguain said after participating in the regional conference, they are now better equipped to bolster and scale the work that the Global Shapers Victoria Hub.
Source: Seychelles News Agency