The youth empowerment initiative to promote educational achievement in the African community in Germany holds its annual award ceremony in Hamburg on 15 October 2016 in the historic building of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
The annual African Youth Education (AYE) Awards aim to motivate young people of African origin in Germany to seek excellence in school. The scheme was initiated in 2011 to act against the observed low educational attainment level of young Africans, which is partly attributable to lack of motivation.
The AYE Awards highlight success stories by rewarding those who have excelled in their education and training to act as role models for their peers in the community. “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today,” is the slogan of the AYE Awards.
According to Desmond John Beddy, one of the initiators and organisers of the AYE Awards, the ultimate aim of the project is to raise the level of educational and professional achievements of youths of African origin.
“We want to promote awareness among students of African origin of the importance and significance of education for their social and professional integration in Germany,” the IT specialist, who is also the proprietor of Topafric Radio, added. “In a nutshell, the project motivates African kids in Germany to study hard in school for high achievement in their education and training for a better tomorrow.”
The youth developmental initiative has been praised by the German government at municipal, state and federal levels, and African community leaders as well as diplomats representing African states in Germany, who turn out in large numbers to attend the annual award ceremony. The 2015 event was graced by the presence of such high-level officials as Ms Aydan Özoguz, Federal Minister of State for Migrants, Refugees and Integration, and Mr Jan Pörksen, Hamburg’s deputy Senator for works, social welfare, family and integration.
Other initiators of the AYE Awards are Mr Iyare Allan Imasi, a private legal practitioner, Mrs Fofana Ba Hawa, a systems engineer, and Mr Assignon Akakpo, a corporate lawyer.
Eligible for the AYE Awards are young persons with an African background who have successfully completed a vocational trade as well as those who are first-year university students in Germany. For example, students who gain admission into higher institutions of learning are eligible for the awards. In 2015, seven such students were awarded. // Sola Jolaoso