By Naomi Yakawich
Global Peace Women (GPW) Tanzania, in collaboration with Dar es Salaam University Students Organization (DARUSO), invited exemplary women leaders and students to a “Women and Leadership” forum held in Nkurumah Hall at the Dar es Salaam University on April 1. The event drew over 180 students and teachers who examined grassroots peace initiatives and provided a networking platform for the young leaders aspiring for higher education.
Keynote speakers included the District Commissioner of Ilala, Sophia Mjema, who addressed the students as future commissioners, ministers, directors, doctors and presidents, highlighting their vital role as moral and innovative leaders in their communities.
GPF representative Martha Nghambi introduced GPF’s ongoing peacebuilding campaign called “Vijana Na Amani,” or “Youth and Peace,” which addresses identity-based conflict among Tanzania’s youth population to counter radicalization and violent extremism. Ms. Nghambi described leadership as the process of inspiring others by promoting a greater good that can benefit not only the individual, but also the larger society, nation and world.
“It has to harness mankind’s natural creative need to advance and develop the human condition,” said Ms. Nghambi. “This is the innovative aspect of leadership. In every culture, extraordinary men and women have propelled humanity forward in the fields of philosophy, ethics, science, athletics and the arts by freely exercising their God given talents, even to the point of challenging existing paradigms. Surmounting the religious, societal and legal constraints of their time, these innovators brought greater advances and freedoms to the modern world.”
By raising leaders guided by a common vision and rooted in “irrevocable universal principles and values,” Ms. Nghambi conveyed the power of youth to lead the world by example, creating a new paradigm, culture and standard for leadership that can transform the school environment and workplace.
In a country where youth make up more than 60% of the population, it is pertinent that GPF Tanzania continues to provide ongoing opportunities for students to explore programs that deliver outlets and networks to expand their capacity for moral and innovative leadership.
Learn more about Vijana Na Amani and its goal to end the negative trend of youth radicalization through education, sensitization and leadership and entrepreneurship capacity building.