The iHAV Conference, a four days program, brought together 100 young changemakers from across Africa. Countries like South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Benin, Congo, Namibia, Sierra Leone, United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe were well represented for discussions around the SDGs. This year marked the third edition of the conference and the theme focused on Goal 8 of the SDGs: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Speakers and Site Visits
Present at the Conference were well-thought speakers like Lucy Quist, Charles Sam, Sherry Thompson, Abla Dzifa Gomashie, Ato Ulzen-Appiah, Jeremiah Buabeng, Bossman Owusu, Joyce Bawah, among other seasoned trail blazers of our time. Participants also went on site visits to organizations such as Sewage Systems Ghana Limited(SSGL), Vodafone Ghana, Agriculture Development Bank, Zoomlion Company Limited, United Nations Development Programme(UNDP). At these sites, they got to learn how the organizations were working towards decent work and economic growth for sustainable development.
Activities and Lessons
There were activities such as movie night, morning exercise, networking sessions, and team building activities and games for the participants to draw out lessons from. The most striking lessons from the sessions were building teamwork, participating in volunteerism, and working towards actionable goals. There were group works which required teamwork, as well as discussions around the need for volunteerism. Participants got to know that volunteering is considered as a decent work which when done well, helps to promote development in the society. In linking teamwork with decent work, emphasis were made on taking responsibility and actions towards personal goals. It was not surprising to hear some goals that participants spelt out at the closing ceremony which was held on the last day amidst awarding of certificates.
Visions and Goals
At the end of the Conference, participants were made to write down some goals which there were going to act upon as better citizens and changemakers. Some of these goals included; less talk and more action, stop procrastination, learning to plan before taking action, and creating solutions where there are problems. Here were the closing remarks from the President of iHAV, Christabel Ofori-Darko: Go out there and be the change that you want to see, and never forget that you cannot do anything without God. God is the reason why we are here. Without him this conference will not have been a success.