New York’s Council of Young African Leaders Convenes 4th Leadership Symposium

By Dennis Kabatto – The Council of Young African Leaders (CYAL), The City University of New York (CUNY) University Student Senate and IMBIZO Host Committee, NY are joining forces to present CYAL’s fourth Annual Leadership Conference.

2014 CYAL SYMPOSIUM FLYERThe central topic of the two-day symposium, which starts on Friday, October 10 to Saturday, October 11 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice Alumni Association in New York is “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Our Past, Our Present, Our Future.”  

“This symposium is about giving voice to young people. Giving them the choice to be participants and stakeholders of their own futures and that of Africa,” Burundian born Divine Muragijimana, President and Co-founder of CYAL said in a statement.  “The event is meant to be an intergenerational dialogue, welcoming all peoples from varying walks of life to speak on the pressing issues that the Youth of African Descent face every day.” 

Four distinguished speakers scheduled to provide a keynote address include Mr. Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations; Sophia Bekele, Founder & Executive Director of DotConnectAfrica Trust; George Magoha, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi and Dr. Frank Sanchez, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at CUNY.

Divine Muragijimana - President & Co-founder of CYAL

Divine Muragijimana – President & Co-founder of CYAL

During a recent radio interview on African New Dawn Radio, which airs over WRSU, 88.7 FM at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Ms Muragijimana told host Sheila Van Diver that CYAL was founded as a response to the turbulence that erupted in Africa in 2011 after youth took to the streets in various African countries demanding for change.

She said those events stirred a group of young African students to collaborate with The City University of New York to host a symposium geared towards a discourse on African development, and phenomena surrounding the continent’s engagement with the rest of the world. 

“Over the last three years, the conference has drawn an average of 250 participants comprising of African students, young African leaders and professionals, ambassadors, New York City Council members, and various leaders in varying industries. The partnership with The City University of New York-CUNY is strategically intended to reach a large number of African students which currently serves approximately 9,000 foreign-born and immigrant African student,” Ms Muragijimana said. 

This year, as a first time partner with CYAL the IMBIZO Host Committee, a South African Forum in the U.S. established to promote dialogue and engagement on social, political and economic issues pertaining to South Africa will co-host a Panel Discussion titled “We are that Generation: Taking on the Mantle of Nelson Mandela.”

For more information on the Symposium’s agenda and registration visit: