INTERVIEW: Patson Malisa "Empowering The Youth"

Patson Malisa
Photo Credit (P.Dhlamini 2014
As part of our focus on Youth & the African Union, we interviewed Mr. Patson Malisa of South Africa. Patson is the newly elected President of the Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth) and has spent several years lobbying for African Youth at High Level meetings and other such progressive platforms. He is a trailblazer in the aspect of developing Youth Policy and continues to be the chief advocate for Youth Empowerment in Africa! Here is what he has to say...

Q Please introduce the Organisation of African Youth (OAY) – What is your organization about?
A "The Organisation of African Youth is an umbrella movement for youth organisations in the Continent who are pursuing the transformation of our society in social, economic and political dynamics. We serve to motivate, unify and empower our youth for effective service in their communities, countries and inevitably Africa as a whole."

Q As a prominent Youth leader, what are your thoughts on the relationship between the Youth and the African Union?
A "The African Union has made provisions for youth participation to be harnessed. The challenge that is faced in this regard is access of the ordinary citizen to these channels. This therefore calls for leadership reaching out to the usually marginalized for complete and wholesome analysis for effective policy drives. We are actively engaged with the AU in this regard and hope to add our part in realizing the solution in tangible manifestation."

Q As the president of the OAY, what do you and your team hope to achieve for young people across the continent?
A "We at OAYouth would want to leave an Africa whose Youth are active in the shaping of the countries in which they live. Instead of having our youth as a target market, we would want them to be considered an effective role player in the transformation of their nations. Nothing about us without us!" 

Q What is your message to the African Youth?
A "Many battles of development will be won in our time. However, the ones we leave behind must have mechanisms in place for the next generation to adequately deal with the challenges of their day. Let us therefore work with the acknowledgment that we are here to give the continent to our descendants in a better and more progressed state than the one we inherited. Let Africa be Great!"