The continent of Africa, and it’s leaders are not well known for appointing young people to hold ministerial positions; but in recent times, the trend is changing, and some have cottoned on to the best plan to change their fortunes by appointing new, young Cabinet ministers.
Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa in 2009 became Africa’s youngest Deputy Minister. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Information in the Republic of Ghana; from the year 2009 to 2013, at the age of 28, under the presidency of the late John Evans Atta Mills. He again served as a Deputy Minister of Education, from 2013-2016 under the presidency of John Mahama.
Breaking Honourable Ablakwa’s record was Emma Theofelus. Young people across the continent of African and the world as a whole have commended Namibian President; Hage Geingob for appointing 23-year-old Emma Theofelus, as Deputy Minister Information and Technology, after becoming the youngest Member of Parliament ever in the Namibia Parliament.
Born on the 28th of March 1996, Honourable Emma Inamutila Theofelus; a Namibian politician holding a degree in Law, from the University of Namibia. She was appointed Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Technology in March 2020… as part of President Hage Geingob's second term cabinet.
In her role, Honourable Theofelus was tasked with assisting in leading public communication on preventative steps against COVID19 pandemic in Namibia. At the time of cabinet appointment, Honourable Theofelus was only 23 years old, and one of Africa's youngest cabinet ministers. In the year 2020, she was judged to be one of 100 most influential African women, being the youngest person on this list.
She was also a Deputy Speaker of the Children’s Parliament from 2013 to 2018, and a Legal Officer – Ministry of Justice, from 2019 to 2020.
The time has come for us all to encourage Africa youth leadership. There is an urgent need for the continent to build more local leaders to help solve global challenges.
Currently, most African leaders are 55 years old or older, with some as old as 75 or almost 80. This is not encouraging; especially at this era, when the world is trying to engage more youth in governance and development.
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