IAYSP Ghana marks the International Day of Nelson Mandela with the Peace Legacy Summit

The International Association of Youth and Students for Peace Ghana consolidated the annual Peace Legacy Summit to Mark the International Day of Nelson Mandela in collaboration with: The Mandela Legacy Foundation of South Africa, Ghana National Scout Association (Greater Accra), and The Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development Centre of Nigeria. This day is significant in underscoring Mandela’s legacy as an asset in the quest for sustainable solutions to peace and reconciliation during this period of global uncertainty.

The event featured great personalities such as: CEO of Crypto Launchpad,  Adiraj Gupta (New Zealand); CEO of Success World 1 HRH, Queen Nadia Harihiri (France), Osun State Assemblyman and Chief Whip, Hon. Tunde Olatunji (Nigeria); 1st Face of Guns Down Africa, Amb. Marcus Love Anafu N. (Ghana); Winner of TV3 Most Talented Kid, Nakeeyat Dramani Sam (Ghana); Winner of the Most Beautiful Girl in the World, Jared Ijalana (Nigeria); Secretary General of SACONO, Tintswalo Cassandra Makhubele (South Africa); Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Vanderpuije, Nigeria Balogun and Baba Adini of Yorubas in Ghana; and the International President of IAYSP, Koji Matsuda  from Japan. Proving to heighten the multitude of the 2018 Peace Legacy Summit for Nelson Mandela, His Excellency John Jerry Rawlings – the former President of Ghana – graced the event with his presence.

The recent summit was held on July 18, 2020, in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 102nd birthday under the theme, “A Peace Legacy with Universally Shared Values: The Model for the African Youth”. The event was a two-hour webinar on Zoom chaired by Tegha King, President of IAYSP Ghana. Rev. King set the tone of the gathering by craving the indulgence of the speakers, to offer a minute of silence to the memories of Zindzi Mandela, South African Ambassador to Denmark, and last daughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, who had died a few days prior the event.

Speakers, during the summit, delved on various topics including: Agriculture, the bearing of good character on leadership, the impact of Mandela on youth, Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter sensation. H.R.H Queen Nadia Harihiri, a woman leader from France and a great friend of Africa, stressed on the importance of human impartiality and said, “Humanity’s equality is judged by the color of her blood…” She also underscored the importance of the feminine touch on leadership, in bringing about a world of sustainable peace. She lit a candle and referred to the act as a ceremony of respect to the legacy of Mandela and her sincere love for humanity. The Chief of the Yorubas ethnic group in Ghana, Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Vanderpuije, used the occasion to underline the socioeconomic and political imbalances across the world and how these will impact peacebuilding activities.

Mrs. Tintswalo Cassandra Makhubele – from South Africa and Secretary General of the SACONO who conspicuously represented Nelson Mandela’s nation – spoke on the topic, “Peace legacy, shared values in Agribusinesses, Indigenous foods, health and healing for Africa.” She stressed that, no matter how much the Covid-19 pandemic would wrought the earth, Africa can survive based upon the continent’s vast and rich landscape. In her photo presentation, Makhubele cited that it only takes a few grains into the soil to start harvesting an abundance of produce after several months of patience. Makhubele encouraged the African youth to venture extensively into Agribusiness, which she considers as the main legacy of Africans’ forefathers and heroes.

Marcus Love Anaful, a youth leader from Ghana who was once a street boy selling kerosene to survive, expressed how it is important for the African youth to instil the words of Nelson Mandela within themselves and be guided to empathy and good leadership. He said education is the fulcrum on which a child of a farmer can become a head of state, and pointed out that Mandela himself came from such a humble agricultural background. Anaful posited that, without education, Mandela’s imprisonment would not have resonated on the same level with the rest of the world; a fact that requires no further explanation.

The International President of Youth and Students for Peace, Mr. Koji Matsuda, visiting from Japan, highlighted the works of YSP Japan and other chapters. He indicates that the service projects and character education curricular that have been applied in various nations by the organization have resulted in profound transformations in youth behaviour; to the commendation of several state leaders. President Matsuda emphasized that IAYSP formulates and implements programs directed toward supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

President Koji Matsuda read out the citations of two young people who were conferred with the Ambassador for Peace Award: Mr. Adebayo Ezekiel Ogunjobi, a peace activist from Nigeria; and Nakeeyat Dramani Sam, a child legend in the arena of Ghanaian poetry and an environmental advocate.

Hon. Samia Nkrumah, Chair of the Convention People’s Party, and daughter of the first president of Ghana – Kwame Nkrumah, made remarks highlighting the importance of the unity of the African. She said the development of the continent, even in a post Covid-19 atmosphere, will depend on how the leaders of Africa harness Africa’s human resources and encourage trade within the fringes of the continent.  The closing remarks were made by the chair of the event who also finalized the program with a closing prayer. Comments on Facebook and other social media outlets testify to the success of the venture.

About two thousand people were reached on social media and an average of a thousand views were observed, while six hundred and more engagements were noticed within the first few days after the live broadcast on Facebook.  The summit has been appreciated by many throughout society, including conventional media outlets such as TV3. The media station extended an invitation to the leadership of IAYSP Ghana to espouse the vision of the Summit on Television.

The sociocultural, economic and political instability around the globe nowadays – particularly the Covid-19 and the tragedy that surrounded the death of George Floyd in America; inciting the Black Lives Matter movement, and their global impacts – inspired the International Association of Youths and Students for Peace in Ghana to formulate the theme for the summit of this year; drawing attention to the fact that, Mandela’s legacy is one of the consummate social capital Africa possesses and that it can serve as a great tool for the cohesion of humanity.