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12 January 2023 | Story Lunga Luthuli | Photo Supplied
Siphilangenkosi Dlamini
Siphilangenkosi Dlamini, University of the Free State student participating at the 2022 Africa YouLead Summit, was elected chairperson of the African Youth Business Council.

Siphilangenkosi Dlamini, a final-year undergraduate student in Political Governance and Transformation, is flying the University of the Free State flag high, leading initiatives on the continent that promote youth-led entrepreneurship and enterprise innovation, job creation, housing, and feeding for Africa’s youth population.

Participating in the annual Africa YouLead Summit in Arusha, Tanzania, where he was also appointed the Interim Chairperson of the African Youth Business Council with effect from 1 February 2023, Dlamini said: “The event was an opportunity to contribute with solutions to issues affecting young people across the continent, including political unrest and food security. We are urging leadership across the continent to not just make young people stakeholders but to contribute to the solutions and sustainable development.”

Dlamini is also serving as the Executive Chairperson of the United Nations in South Africa, a position he has held since January 2022.

The summit, organised by YouLead and held in December 2022, brought together young leaders from across Africa to discuss issues of importance to the continent and to share ideas and experiences. YouLead is a non-profit organisation empowering young people to become leaders in their communities and to drive positive change under the flagship of the African Union, East African Community, and the Southern African Development Community

Leading a South African delegation, Dlamini represented the UFS, with the theme for the 2022 summit being ‘Digital access and the future of work’, where he participated in a panel discussing regional security and peacekeeping.

During discussions, Dlamini said: “As the youth of Africa, we strive to move away from policy rhetoric to actual groundwork so as to domesticate the agenda of peace and security by operationalising structures at the grassroots, local efforts, and collaboration at the African Union level. One thing is sure, we are going to be radical about this agenda."

Dlamini said: “I was fortunate to also participate in the Under 40 Business Forum, with young people leading talks about empowerment and entrepreneurship.”

An entrepreneur himself, Dlamini is author of the book Magic and Other Authentic Experiences and Chief Executive Officer of Lihawu Logistics. 

Dlamini believes the summit was a valuable opportunity “to learn and to be inspired to take action and make a difference in their communities and beyond”.

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