SPU hosts thought provoking dialogue with the youth

On 29 June 2023, Sol Plaatje University (SPU) hosted a thought-provoking and insightful Youth Month Dialogue.

In promoting critical engagement, SPU marked this month by hosting a Youth Month Virtual Dialogue for the Youth – by the Youth, themed, “Accelerating Youth Economic Emancipation for a Sustainable Future”.

The Youth Month Dialogue ignited discussions on policy change, entrepreneurship, quality education, and youth leadership. To date, the dialogue was watched by more than 800 viewers on the #MySPU Facebook page.

The Youth Month Dialogue was facilitated by Mr Simon Phiri, Portfolio Process Manager; Mr Nonofo Quinton Oliphant, the SRC 2022/23 Academic Affairs Officer; Mr Chad Lucas, the National Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Studentpreneur CoP Chairperson and SPU Economic Activation Officer: Centre for Entrepreneurship Development and Research (CEDAR); and Ms Keneilwe Goeieman, an SPU alumnus and Founder of Keneilwe Lactation, currently working as a Service Experience Initiatives Manager at Standard Bank.

In his opening statement, Mr Oliphant reflected on the commemoration of the 1976 uprising and its significance in the context of the year 2023. He observed that this period allows the youth to assess how far society has progressed in relation to racial equality, educational reforms, human rights, and the work that remains to address ongoing challenges and disparities.

Ms Keneilwe Goeieman shared her journey as an SPU student and now the founder of Keneilwe Lactations, which was born out of a challenge she faced. Ms Goeieman encouraged the youth to find solutions to the challenges they face.

The third panellist, Mr Lucas, offered tips and opportunities available to SPU students through EDHE. “There has been no greater time than now, for our country’s youth to be economically emancipated and empowered with the right tools and support to become economic participants, contributing towards sustainability. This need, coupled with the realisation that entrepreneurship is a key solution to the plethora of socio-economic problems plaguing our country, has spurred numerous entrepreneurship and SME development programmes and initiatives to drive this key aspect,” he said.

Young people who joined the conversation discussed youth unemployment, social ills that continue to affect the youth, and the opportunities available for students at the university and beyond.

Through these virtual dialogues, the university aims not only to foster the development of a digitally empowered university, but also to promote and harness collaborative partnerships in its goal to strengthen community engagement.

Missed this event? You can still watch the event here.

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