YALA AFRICA YOUNG LEADERS COMMUNITY 2 NESLETTER | AUGUST 2013 www.facebook.com/YalaAfrica
is a Facebook-based movement dedicated to the empowerment of the youth in the African continent. Africa has the fastest growing and most youthful population in the world. With over forty percent of its citizens under the age of 15, and twenty percent between the ages of 15 and 24 - the prospects for advancement in the region are abound with promise. The stage is set for a new generation of empowered, young Africans to lead the way to a better future for the continent; a vision of the future created by those who stand to profit most from it’s success: Africans. Our goals and values are stated in our Document of Principles:
1 We believe that the young generation will lead the way to a
YaLa Young Leaders method has harnessed the catalyzing power of Facebook to affect change and build a community of leaders around the world who are unwilling to blindly accept the status quo, and whose vision for a better tomorrow inspire them to make change a reality. Working upon this already proven method, and partnered with some of the world’s leading institutions of education and innovation, Yala Africa can count on an extensive network of international partners who can be mobilized to provide opportunities and critical support for the movement and its members. Among Yala’s network of supporters are Facebook, Microsoft, HP, Harvard University, Princeton University, MIT, The Clinton Global Initiative, and the Governments of the United States, Italy, and Norway.
better future for the continent .
2 We aim to cooperate with young leaders through social networking.
and be guided by them.
3 A right picture of africa needs to be drawn and expressed to the world by africans.
4 We want to encourage cooperation between people from similar
professional background. in favour of economic development, social care and cultural expression.
5 Sharing of knowledge and education through online systems is extremely significant. the same is true for the Promotion of online health services.
6 Foster african culture in its diversity. 7 Increase the awareness of women›s rights and equality 8 Enhance the international relations within africa. 9 we demand and will work for fair trade, fair investments and fair relations between the world and africa.
Yala Africa believes that by capitalizing on the advancements social networking has brought to world of communication—the potential to connect millions of people across physical borders. We can fashion a PanAfrican movement dedicated to regional solidarity, prosperity, and peace. Through intra- regional collaboration, Africans will be better equipped to deal with the focal issues currently facing the continent. A new class of African social entrepreneurs will emerge, made up of people whose attitudes, shaped by their drive, education and knowledge, converge into a common vision for the future. We want to impact these young leaders by empowering them with the open tools provided by social media. Among the critical success factors for Yala Africa is a proven working model currently in it’s 3rd year: YaLa-Young Leaders. Drawing on our experiences in the Middle East-North African region, where we have garnered the support of over 350,000 people, a dedicated consortium of young activists whose enthusiasm for imparting change in the region has been steadfastly increasing with each year.
Realizing the impact increased Internet penetration has on the success of Africa, we aim for the creation of an online management and technology school. The development of an educated and effective African leadership begins first and foremost with practical edification. Online education has the power to link the best professors, experts and professionals from all corners of the globe, with the mere click of a mouse. Through collaborative regional study and training, Yala Africa aims to create a lasting foundation for positive young leader cooperation, and to strengthen the young generation’s ability to utilize modern-world technologies and networks to their advantage. The promising trends of increased Internet penetration in Africa compound on our propitious circumstances; in the past decade, internet use has increased ten-fold, from only 4.5 million in 2000, to 140 million in 2011, with over 40 million connecting to social media sites such as Facebook. In January 2013, we established a Facebook page with a current following of over 15,000 people from around the continent. It is a forum where ideas are exchanged on a daily basis, on issues ranging from education, health care, gender-equality, politics, culture and art. Along with the daily flow of ideas, we have organized several theme-based discussions on specific issues through the lenses of African culture: education, poetry, and an upcoming photography contest. These events aim to mobilize the membership base and provide tangible benefits to the young leaders, rousing in them the confidence to believe that change is within their grasp.
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According to the FAO, “Clinical trials have shown that spirulina can serve as a supplementary cure for many diseases. Spirulina capsules have proved effective in lowering blood lipid level, and in decreasing white blood corpuscles after radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well as improving immunological function” (FAO, 2008, p. 18). Also test studies on malnourished children, such as the study on a child nutrition center in Bangui (Central African Republic) have shown significant improvement in the health conditions of patients aged from 0 to 5 years old. According to the center’s manager Dr. Picard, “These first results reveal the benefits of spirulina to tackle malnutrition problems, even in severe cases. This product is easy to use and well accepted by mothers when it is properly explained” (Antenna, 2012, p. 6). Another study done on 60 schoolgirls in India found that a daily intake of 1 gram of spirulina can even improve their intellectual performance. In Burkina Faso, a study on 170 children of whom 84 are tested HIV-positive, concluded that the treatment with locally produced spirulina led to a “particularly positive impact on the nutritional rehabilitation of HIV-infected children” (Antenna, 2012, p. 7). Outlook:
Spirulina Yala Africa and the Spirulina Algae One of Yala Africa’s goals is to help fight hunger and malnutrition, two of Africa’s main burdens. Malnutrition is defined “as a pathological state arising from the prolonged use of food that does not supply all the elements necessary for health. In developing countries, malnutrition is the cause of many harmful consequences for young children: increased risk of mortality, weakened immune system, delayed motor development, diminished cognitive capacity and school performance” (Antenna, 2011, p. 3). This is why we would like to draw more attention to the spirulina algae in order to increase the consumption of this food supplement with incredible health benefits, including the potential to fight malnutrition which affects around 239 Million people on the African continent of which the majority are children. At least half of the 9 ,10 million child deaths each year are due to hunger and malnutrition (FAO, 2012). Yala Africa, like several other non-governmental organizations such as Antenna have recognized the importance of increasing the cultivation of spirulina in order to help fight malnutrition. “The Antenna Technologies Foundation is an international organization whose goals are to identify, develop and favor the diffusion of efficient technologies that are suitable for populations with limited resources. In order to fight against malnutrition, Antenna Technologies has developed tools and trainings especially adapted to the local production of spirulina in a sustainable way.Today, Antenna Technologies is involved in spirulina programs in about twenty African and Asian countries” (Antenna, 2012, p. 15). Historical background: The Spirulina Algae is a blue-green algae that exists as a single-celled organism turning sunlight into life energy. It is one of the first life forms designed by nature more than 3.6 billion years ago. Spirulina has been singled out for its nutritional benefits and has been first discovered by the Aztecs who made cake from it. The Spanish invaders who conquered Mexico observed local fishermen collecting the algae with fine nets. Also North Africans consumed the blue-green algae centuries ago, collecting it from natural waters, drying it and using it as an addition to sauces. Health Benefits: The spirulina algae is known for its incredible health benefits, including its potential to fight chronic malnutrition by providing the consumer with high amounts of: • Proteins, which amount between 70-60 % of its dry weight • Amino acids • Vitamins A, B12, C, E • Calcium, Chlorophyll, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc
Yala Africa aims to set up spirulina micro-farms in Rwanda and Uganda. Supporting the creation of small-scale local businesses decreases dependence on existing expensive products, creates jobs and encourages self-sufficiency. Thus, communities who have their own spirulina production compounds can distribute it to the local community and therefore fight malnutrition independently and without high cots. At the same time products could be exported. The demand for spirulina in the West is growing rapidly due to its nutritional benefits, which is why local production in Africa could increase trade revenues. The fact that the building of a spirulina micro-farm is relatively easy is another factor which makes us believe that we need to support its spread. Spirulina grows best in hot, even desert countries and needs a lot less water than any other agricultural crop. After setting up the infrastructure for a farm which includes training, premises, water supplies, electricity, fences and computer hardware, the local population is able to maintain the facilities independently. Currently, there are around 50 spirulina farms in developing countries and Africa provides perfect conditions for spirulina farming which is why Yala Africa would like to actively increase spirulina production and consumption in order to fight malnutrition. Yala Africa strongly believes that besides raising awareness and creating a platform of dialogue through social networks, it is of great importance to initiate ground projects which can benefit local African communities. The creation of a spirulina micro-farm appears to be a project which encourages local production and therefore creates employment and trade incentives. At the same time, spirulina offers invaluable health benefits which can help fight malnutrition. This will positively affect the immune system, intellectual development and overall well-being. Too much time has passed since the discovery of the algae and its cultivation on the African continent. Yala Africa aims to take a step towards the future. Sources: Habib, M.A.B., Hasan, M.R., Huntington, T.C. & Parvin, M. (2008). A review on culture, production and use of spirulina as food for humans and feeds for domestic animals and fish. FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED STATES. Hug, C. & V.D. Weid, D. (2011). Assessment and prospects. Spirulina in the fight against malnutrition. FONDATION ANTENNA TECHNOLOGIES.