The median age in the U. S. Embassy Ouagadougou dropped by at least a decade the afternoon of Tuesday, September 24, 2013 as newly arrived Ambassador of the United States of America to Burkina Faso, Dr. Tulinabo Mushingi, welcomed about 120 youth for an American –style town hall meeting.
Among others in the audience were members of the embassy’s own Youth Council, students from the English Access Microscholarship Program, Fulbright exchange alumni, members of the International Youth Chamber, as well as young adults engaged in USAID-sponsored programs promoting peace and good governance. Ambassador Mushingi welcomed them to the American Embassy and shared his ideas on the important role youth play not only for Burkina Faso, but for the whole African continent.
Echoing the words of President Obama, he stated that there is a new more prosperous and confident Africa on the world stage and this is due to its youth. He reminded the audience that today’s world needs what they possess: imagination, courage, and a “yes we can” attitude. Ambassador Mushingi also talked about the Young African Leaders Initiative started by President Obama and encouraged young people to prepare and apply. He then took questions and comments from the floor.
Burkinabe youth and Ambassador Mushingi engaged in a long and lively exchange on topics including US foreign policy toward Burkina Faso and Africa, economic development, and educational and mentoring opportunities as youth look toward developing their leadership skills in many sectors.