University of Fort Hare student Banele Melaphi took part in an engaging International Youth Diplomacy Conference (IYDC) in Accra, Ghana from July 16 to 20.
According to their website, the IYDC is a flagship event of Innovation for Empowerment and Development (IFED) Global and builds off the the Model United Nations Conference.
Melaphi was one of 10 ten South African representatives at the conference, where they tackled the theme of “Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development”.
“I gained soft skills, such as problem solving, public speaking and skills in diplomacy. Through these skills I can now organise small conferences on topics in line with sustainability issues,” Melaphi said.
More than 1,000 youth leaders gathered from 54 countries to take part in the conference and experience Ghanaian culture.
The conference is a simulation of the United Nations General Assembly, Security Council and other agencies under the United Nations.
The conference brought together young people youths across Africa and beyond to discuss key issues of global interest.
Melaphi pointed to a cultural day that was held as a highlight of his experience.
“I saw how the General Assembly operates and how resolutions are made, as well as being exposed to to the different embassies and how they tackle issues,” he said.
Melaphi also received a certificate of excellence during his time at the conference.
He caught wind of the IYDC while attending the Empowa Youth Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit in Johannesburg in June.
He then applied to be part of the IYDC and was eventually chosen to represent SA.
Melaphi is in the process of registering a foundation where he hopes to help high school students with issues and challenges affecting them such as providing stationery and sanitary towels.