Acceptance Speech, African Union Youth Envoy
November 5, 2018

Aya Chebbi’s acceptance speech, receiving Goalkeepers Campaigner Award by Gates Foundation

Thank you to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for this award. I dedicate this award to African youth who are the everyday campaigners on the frontlines and yet their work and the risk they take go unrecognised.

I got into activism in my country- Tunisia and my continent – Africa, because I refuse that my age and gender define me as subject not driver of development.

I got into international diplomacy because I refuse that others speak for us as if we don’t have voices, think for us as if we don’t have brains, experiences and history and even decide for us as if we don’t have will! We are not subjects or objects, and we know exactly what we want as African youth.

I campaigned and built movements and platforms to unite, empower and mobilize youth around non-violent activism, Pan-Africanism and leadership especially the most vulnerable because sadly we live in a world where the most vulnerable is disfranchised and humiliated based on religion, ethnicity and nationality.

We live in a world where politicians fuel xenophobia and violence, and violate national and international laws stripping people of their dignity, autonomy, freedom of speech, assembly, movement and press and even censor the only space left to breath, the Internet.

We live in a world where it is It is acceptable to trade human rights for sanitation projects.

The reality we live in is dangerous because our global leaders allow it, overlook it and remain silent in the face of injustice.

But the power of the people will remain always more powerful than people in power and that’s where change will come from wether they like it or not.

Uprisings, peaceful revolutions and youth movements in Tunisia, Senegal, Gambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Algeria and across the world have decided and when young people promise, young people deliver!

The world we want is borderless, and the future we want is about freedom and dignity. My generation will continue to be radical, disruptive and challenge the status quo because this current system does not work for us and we, we will change it.

Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *