IOYA Press Release on 7th Annual Youth Leadership Conference

October 25, 2012

The International Oromo Youth Association held its seventh annual Oromo Youth Leadership Conference in Minneapolis, MN on July 13-15. Since its inception in 2006, OYLC has brought together youth from all over the world to discuss and collaborate on issues that pertain to Oromo communities.

The theme for this year’s OYLC was Team Oromia: Utilizing Creativity and Leadership in the Age of New Media. Our mission was to gather a team of young, creative minds for a three-day conference on leadership and utilizing new media to effectively communicate our concerns as Oromo youth. The invited speakers, Semhar Araia, founder and Executive Director of Diaspora Africa Women’s Network, Professor Ezekiel Gebissa and Professor Steven Thomas, engaged participants on various matters. Ms. Semhar’s presentation centered on strategies for building strong and effective youth organizations. Professor Ezekiel Gebissa discussed China’s growing economic relationship with the Horn, and particularly with Ethiopia. On the final day, participants had an opportunity to work with Prof. Steven Thomas to brainstorm and decide upon a topic for a short video, which was shot later on that day by participants. Our ultimate goal was to produce a tangible project video that captured all that we had learned throughout the conference. The video is now in the works for final editing and production.

We are delighted to announce that during the final day of the conference, IOYA nominated a new president, Ayantu Tibeso, a graduate student at Ohio University. To be joining her on the board are Nazira Junaid, a senior at the University of Washington, and Chaltu Abdulkadir,second year student at St. Catherine University. Former IOYA presidents Hashim Adam and Kulani Jalata will be working closely with the new board on an advisory capacity.

This year, we would like to extend an invitation to all Oromo youth: if you have a creative idea, interesting project proposal, or simple suggestion you would like to contribute to IOYA please do so by contacting us at ioyapress@gmail.com. IOYA is an organization committed to strengthening Oromo youth’s engagement in their communities. As such, we welcome all to get involved in its activities.

Looking ahead, the new board is excited about what is in store for this year. Upcoming projects and events will be posted on our website (www.ioya.wordpress.com) and we encourage you to stay connected to IOYA through our site, facebook page, and twitter account. Expect to hear directly from the IOYA board through our email updates. To sign up for email updates, email us at ioyapress@gmail.com.

Sincerely,
IOYA Board (2012-13)