Youth Conference

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Disrupting Inequality “Development and Empowerment” GEM Institute Conference held in Lesotho (Thaba-Tseka) started with a preconference from the 21st to the 23rd October that entailed training young people in computer programming (coding). In partnership with Africa Code Week, UNESCO National Commission under the Ministry of Education and Paray High Schools. The initiative aims to advance aspirations of developing a generation of young people in Africa who are fluent in computer languages and breaking the digital divide especially in the mountain regions of Lesotho which is a highly marginalized region. The Minister of Education Dr. Mahali Phamotse has hailed this programme as a needed innovative pathway to see Lesotho youth joining the digital community of developers not consumer across the globe. The Ministry of Science and Technology is awarding all1b participating partners in making coding a reality for the next generation of Basotho youth on the 7th November 2016.


On the 29th and 30th October 2016 the conference saw 25 youth from different backgrounds in attendance. GEM Institute, Ramblers Youth Club, CIMPAD in partnership and UNESCO National Commission as an observer, launched the first conference which focused on advancing the mandate of youth focused organisations such as: Gem Institute and Rumblers Youth Club.


Different conference topics included:

  • GEM Institute: Disrupting Inequality: Challenges and Opportunities for youth in and from marginalised communities:
           The role of Science, Technology, Arts and Media (STEAM) for the next generation of marginalised youth in Lesotho

  • Ramblers Youth Club: Efforts by youth
  • A helping hand to the aged, HIV&AIDS infected and affected and abandoned children.
  • Access to Resources: Agriculture and Microfinance an answer to youth today (Project by Ramblers Youth Club)

        • Entrepreneurship Development: Insights and account by a local businessman on how he created his own opportunities and challenges and          opportunities facing youth today.
        • Sexual Reproductive Health Among Youth: Open discussions on possible interventions on the ground
        • UNESCO National Commission: Youth Development and Empowerment (the Youth desk)



1 youthThe pre-conference and conference conversations proved to be needed interventions to advance development on the ground for practical and real immersion in challenges and opportunities facing youth and young women today. The first conference of its kind in Thaba-Tseka in Lesotho, remains an approach and initiative with a promising untapped potential, to advance Sustainable Development Goals (2030) and the African Union Africa Agenda (2063). GEM Institute is thankful of CIMPAD for supporting the maiden initiative with hope it will grow beyond its humble beginnings. It is with hope that such partnerships will continue to advance real development by African for Africans.


Media Involved
Motjoli FM the Thaba-Tseka Community Radio Station covered the conference
Radio Lesotho, TV and Print media covered pre-conference proceedings


Useful links for the pre-conference