The Way Forward, Young African Leaders in Washington

I was very impressed by the African youth leaders farewell conference for which I did a VOA story.

The event gave me a sense of optimism. Africans who survive teeming cities are best equipped to deal with the chaos of the future that may beset us all. Africa is getting technological. The youth is working hard and wants to improve.

Still, there was criticism by a US official of 'elders' inciting violence in Kenya. I am not much for elders vs. youth. I hope the respect for elders survives in Africa. One of the shames in the west is leaving our parents and grandparents to die nearly alone in retirement homes.

One participant said colonial-era institutions should be adapted or totally changed. Is democracy, which was initially thought up to protect individual land rights, really the best model for Africa?

For some reason, this reminds me of one of my favorite pictures at sunrise in Makeni, Sierra Leone. Everyone has a story, and tells so much of the world and themselves, even if you just catch them walking by.

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