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Africa

Africa is made of 54 sovereign states. Out of this number, 19 countries are member states of the Commonwealth; they are united by language, history, culture and their shared values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent. At approximately 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers almost six percent of the earth's total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area. In terms of population, Africa is the youngest continent, with 50 percent of its population of approximately 1.0 billion people aged 19 years or younger.

Africa boasts a great biodiversity, which ranges from tropical jungles to Sahara deserts and from snow-capped volcanic mountains to gorgeous beaches, waterfalls and game parks.


Regional Co-ordinator, John Apea

JohnApea220John is a Ghanaian national and CEO of The Entertainment Warehouse, a leading Communications organisation in Ghana. He is also an award-winning filmmaker whose projects have premiered at prestigious film festivals such as Durban, Rotterdam and art galleries such as Tate Britain and ZKM. 

A judge of both the Commonwealth Vision awards and the Essay Competition John was a also Steering Committee member for the Jubilee Time Capsule. He is a proud alumnus of the Presbyterian Boys Secondary School in Ghana and the Universities of Oxford and York in the UK.

Regional Youth Co-ordinator, Gideon Commey

Gideon Commey CROPGideon Commey is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society and Regional Youth Co-ordinator for Africa. Through his earlier work with the British Council in Ghana, Gideon served as a flag bearer for Ghana at the Commonwealth Day Observance, 2012 during the Diamond Jubilee of HM the Queen and represented Commonwealth youth at the Commonwealth High Commissioners’ Banquet, reporting on the event for the Jubilee Time Capsule.

A Climate Reality Leader, Gideon was personally trained by former US Vice-President, Al Gore, to educate people on the causes, impacts and possible solutions to climate change. Gideon currently runs the company, Solar People, in Ghana and serves as a campaign strategist for Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM), the largest youth-led grass-roots environmental organization in Ghana. 

Intl networks Africa 220
REGIONAL CO-ORDINATORS, AFRICA

John Apea: john.apea@thercs.org
Gideon Commey: gideon.commey@thercs.org

 

What's happening in this region?

Nigeria CW Day 11th March 2019, The Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria, participated in a Commonwealth Day observance hosted by the Federal Ministry of Education on behalf of Federal Government of Nigeria at the National Universities Commission in Abuja. The event was covered the media and was attended by students, teachers, parents and some Commonwealth High Commissions. Commonwealth flags were paraded by students and there were several cultural displays and dances. Honourable Minister of Education gave a keynote address and Mr Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi, Country Director of RCS Nigeria presented on the 'Commonwealth at 70: Serving a new Generation'. Mr Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi then presented RCS 150th Anniversary Commemoration Publication and Commonwealth Charter to the Honourable Minister of Education.

 Blackson 7th March 2019, The Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria, paid a courtesy visit to  Honourable Minister of State for Education Professor Anthony Anwukah. Professor Anthony Anwukah, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Directors of the Ministry and other senior officials of the Ministry were present at the courtesy visit to receive RCS Nigeria's delegation. Honourable Minister of State for Education assured RCS Nigeria's delegation that they would be partner and collaborate with RCS Nigeria on future projects and initiatives, including the 2019 edition of Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition.

Essay Comp 2019 20th February 2019, The Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria, launched their 2019 edition of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition at Alade Stadium in Lagos. The Society's Regional Coordinator for Africa, Mr John Apea, was Special Guest of Honour at the event. Several schools, students, teachers and parents attended the event, and a king and Nigerian traditional ruler, His Royal Majesty OBA Samuel Awoyemi Adisa, The Akara Kiri II, Onimeiran of Meiran Land was the Royal Father of the day. The Chairman of the occasion was engineer Kolade Baruwa, a retired Director of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition was publicly presented by the King, the Chairman of the occasion, Schools Proprietors, RCS Nigeria members, other guests and students. Mr John Apea presented the Commonwealth Charter on behalf of RCS Nigeria to the King, and presented the Commonwealth Year Book to the proprietor of  the Partner School, Mr Fatai Adekunle. The event was a great success and RCS Nigeria are looking forward to launching the Competition in Abuja. 

Presidential Candidates and Guests 13th February 2019, Mr Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi, Country Director of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria, was invited by the National  Peace Committee to witness the second signing of National Peace  Accord by all Presidential candidates from all political  parties contesting in the presidential election on 16th February 2019. Other guests at the event included former Nigerian Heads of State, major stakeholders in the Country, foreign missions in Nigeria, leaders of Election Observer Groups and other international guests. Commonwealth Secretary General, Baroness Scotland, was a Speaker and special guest at the event. 

 

 With President Goodlock Jonathan at Peace Conference7th February 2019, The Royal Commonwealth Society Nigeria participated in a Peace Conference organised by Goodlock Jonathan Foundation, hosted at Hilton Hotel, Maitama, Abuja. RCS participants used the occasion to appeal to all political actors in the country to embrace peace, and to promote free, fair and transparent elections in Nigeria. In the picture Mr Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi, Country Director of RCS Nigeria, is in discussion with Former President  of Nigeria  Dr Goodluck Jonathan at the Peace  Conference. 

 

  Medical Event 25th January 2019. The Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria, in conjunction with LouisMed Hospital & Fertility Centre and National Council for Women Societies, offered free gynecological workshops to Nigerian women of all ages. A diverse range of issues regarding sexual and reproductive health for women were discussed by a team of medical consultants led by Professor Akin A. Bamigboye. 

 

150 Dinner24th January 2019, The Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria, hosted a dinner in Abuja celebrating 150 years of the RCS. The event was colourfully celebrated and all invited guests and members joyfully participated in this historic event.

 

 

Nigeria SA editionresized22nd September 2018 The Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria hosted the 2018 Johannesburg, South Africa edition of Nigeria Conversation in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg and Nigeria High Commission in Pretoria at the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event provided both a platform and opportunities for participants, speakers and delegates  to discuss  important issues on improving Nigerian - South African relations and Nigerian nations-building and national development. The initiative was formally commended by was commended by the Honourable Consul General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, Mr Godwin Adama.

nigeria update aug 201826 July 2018, Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi, Country Director of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria, formed part of a delegation which was hosted my His Excellency Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of Federation, Federal Republic of Nigeria, who was represented during the visit by Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Services in the Presidency. Five members of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria were represented, while other Directors in Presidency and senior officials of Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation joined Mr Olusegun Adekunle, the Permanent Secretary, General Services to host the delegation during the visit.

Nigeria Discussing with former President Olusegun Obasanjo27 June 2018, Abuja: Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi, National Co-ordinator of RCS branch the Commonwealth Youth Organisation of Nigeria, engaged with His Excellency, President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR, former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, former Chairperson of Commonwealth Heads of Government and former Chairman, Africa Union, Abuja and updated him on the organisation's activities and events.  

 

IMG 4883CROPresizeOn Commonwealth Day, 12th March, RCS Africa region partnered with the British Council in Ghana for an event which included a model CHOGM run by students of the Ghana International School who discussed a resolution to ban plastics and the presentation of certificates to school children in recognition of their excellent performance in The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition.

The auditorium was filled to capacity - guests included the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker; Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Charles Owiredu, Sam Okudzeto, Member of the Council of State; Justice VCRAC Crabbe, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana; Andrew Barnes, Australia High Commissioner to Ghana; Rev. Sam Korankye-Ankrah, Vice-President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Christian Council; Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, former Minister of Education in Ghana and Mina Mensah Head of the Africa Office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

Nigeria Commonwealth Day Celebration picture 337xOn Commonwealth Day, Monday, 12th March, members of the sub-Committee on Trade, Investment and Business of the Commonwealth Youth Organisation of Nigeria, met. HM The Queen's Message was presented to the Representative of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Seun Omobo, and Special Adviser to the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs. Other members of the sub-committee are representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government as well as officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Nigeria QCEC Presentation16 February 2018, The Commonwealth Youth Organisation of Nigeria organised a presentation of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition at the Agege Stadium in Lagos. Students from over 50 schools attended the event, as well as members from the organisation.
Pictured: Mr. Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi, National Co-ordinator, and students. 

Nigeria bch 3 2 336x18 December 2017, Mr. Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi, National Co-ordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Organisation of Nigeria was received by His Excellency, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters where the paper 'Nigeria of Our Dream' and the Report of 2017 New York, USA edition of Nigeria Conversation were officially presented to His Excellency.

Nigeria DSCN1522 336x28 September 2017, Mr. Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi, Chairman, Nigeria Conversation and National Co-ordinator, Commonwealth Youth Organisation of Nigeria was chief host to the 2017 New York Edition of Nigeria Conversation held at the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to United Nations at the Consulate General of Nigeria, New York. The theme was '170 Million People: Better Days Ahead' with particular focus on Economic Diversification, Consolidation and Sustainability presented to members of the Nigerian community including diplomats, professionals, business people, students and youth.

DoualaFB IMG 14901737734843671 RESIZEDCommonwealth Day 2017: University of Douala Commonwealth Club with students, staff and authorities of the University commemorated Commonwealth Day at the Nelson Mandela Stadium Grandstand on Thursday 16 March 2017 under the theme ‘A Peace-Building Commonwealth’. The commemoration was preceded by other activities such as a sports walk, human investment, handball and football matches competitions, song, dance and drama.

Over 600 students and staff did the sports walk, a distance of about 20km. They held bill boards, banners, and green leaves bearing messages of ‘Peace’. They sang songs of peace and at every road junction, they gathered and sang a solemn peace song. Crowds of people came out to listen and applaud them.

GhanaIMG 0992 cropCommonwealth Day 2017, Ghana. RCS Regional Co-ordinators launched an impressive week-long programme, including a presentation to Parliament, a reception at the British High Commission, a Careers Fair, school assemblies - all against a background of national TV and radio interviews and social media coverage. The Commonwealth Day evening reception for over 80 guests included Nana Akufo Addo, President of Ghana, Government Ministers, members of the clergy, Chief Executives and representatives of Ghanaian businesses, Scholars and RCS Associate Fellows.

KenyaIMG 6907 REsiedCommonwealth Day 2016: A short forum was held with pupils of Harvest View Academy, a primary school established by a church that provides full scholarships for bright, needy students from Embakasi East Constituency, Nairobi. The forum explored the relevance of the Commonwealth to Std. 6 to 8 pupils. The teachers are now forming a club to raise issues of inclusivity and sustainable development, promoting conservation efforts within the school.

Across the Africa region, 27 Queens Young Leaders have been announced - see the list

LeaderBlast Ghana DT8B778230th May 2015: Accra RCS Regional Co-ordinator, John Apea, in partnership with Ghana International School, the oldest International Education institution in Ghana, organised a leadership seminar modelled on the Leadercast conference. Ghana is only the second sub-Saharan country, after South Africa, to organise such a conference, which they called 'Leaderblast'. The primary objective was to use material from the conference, to create an epic shift in how youth view leadership (whether in founding a start-up or a social project), for themselves, their communities and their countries. It is hoped that the youth, through seminars such as these, will become agents of change, rather than objects of change, in their communities. Download the details | Read additional coverage.

Pictured: Herbert Mensah, President of Ghana Rugby Association & Former Chief Executive of Kumasi Asante Kotoko and John Apea congratulate a winning participant

20 May 2015: RCS Abuja Branch organised a Commonwealth Lecture to mark Democracy Day. With the theme of Democracy and Good Governance the event was chaired by the Hon. Justice Amb. Umar Faruk Abdullahi CON, Former President, Court of Appeal, Nigeria with Guest speakers, the Rev. Professor Amb. Yusufu Ameh Obaje, Pionner Chaplain State House, Abuja

.4. RESIZEDCommonwealth Week 2015: Nigeria. RCS Nigeria branch hosted a programme in celebration of Commonwealth Day on the 12th March 2015 at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja. Attended by HE High Commissioner of Ghana and Hon. Justice Umar Faruk Abdullahi (pictured); attendees were entertained by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Cultural Group

 

 DSC 0517CROPCommonwealth Week 2015: Camaroon. The University of Douala organised a four day national/regional conference to mark Commonwealth Day 2015. At the conference, academic discussions and student activities focussed on the themes of: 'A Young Commonwealth - Youth as a Resource in National Development'; 'A Young Commonwealth, Cultural Heritage and Commonwealth Values'; 'Commonwealth Alumni and Student Societies'; 'A Young Commonwealth and Globalisation'; 'Education in/about the Commonwealth: Pedagogy and Research'. 

Power Shift Climate and Environmental Summit in Ghana 2014July 2014: Power Shift is the largest youth-led and first ever environmental and climate summit in Ghana to train and empower more than 500 young people with the tools, techniques and technology to solve the environmental crisis in Ghana.

It is hosted by Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM) and Ghana Youth Climate Coalition (GYCC); together the largest youth led climate and environmental group in Ghana. Power Shift is under the theme ‘Leadership, Innovation and Action’, and takes place on 26-28 July 2014, at the University of Ghana.

The three-day summit will be the largest gathering of youth coming together to call for clean energy in Ghana's history. 

Upcoming events in this region

12th Women's Affairs Ministers Meeting
19 Sep 19

'Action' will be the buzz word when Commonwealth Ministers of Women's Affairs meet in Nairobi for their triennial summit. Hosted by the government of Kenya, the 12th Commonwealth Women's Affairs Minister Meeting (12WAMM) will take place on September 19th and 20th under the theme 'From Commitment to Action: Accelerating Gender...

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