Five Africans from Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Liberia and Uganda make UN 2020 class of 17 young world leaders

The United Nations on Friday announced the names of the latest class of 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The list includes five Africans from Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Liberia and Uganda.

The five Africans on the list are Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, 29, Nigeria, Vanessa Nakate, 23, Uganda, Mariama Djambony Badji, 22, Senegal, Loay Radwan, 21, Egypt, and Satta Sheriff, 22, Liberia.

On a biennial basis, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth recognizes 17 young change-makers who are leading efforts to combat the world’s most pressing issues and whose leadership is catalyzing the achievement of the SDGs. 

“As the UN marks its 75th anniversary during unprecedented times, the 2020 Young Leaders for the SDGs are a clear example of how young people are leading the way in shaping a more sustainable and inclusive future for all,” said Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. ”Despite being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, young people around the world continue to demonstrate immense resilience, resourcefulness and leadership in finding innovative solutions to recover better and achieve the SDGs.”

“These young leaders — between the ages of 18 and 29 years old — represent the diverse voices of young people from every region of the world,and are collectively responsible for activating millions of young people in support of the SDGs. This group will come together as a community to support efforts to engage young people in the realization of the SDGs both through strategic opportunities with the UN and through their existing initiatives, platforms and networks,” the UN said in a statement.

The 2020 Young Leaders for the SDGs are:

  1. AY Young, 29, United States
  2. Hadiqa Bashir, 18, Pakistan
  3. İlayda Eskitaşçıoğlu, 26, Turkey
  4. Jichen Liu, 23, China
  5. Lester Philipp Vargas Angeles, 24, Peru
  6. Loay Radwan, 21, Egypt
  7. Mariama Djambony Badji, 22, Senegal
  8. Martin Karadzhov, 27, Bulgaria
  9. Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, 29, Nigeria
  10. Ralf Toenjes, 28, Brazil
  11. Satta Sheriff, 22, Liberia
  12. Siena Castellon, 18, Ireland
  13. Tania Rosas, 29, Colombia
  14. Tim Lo Surdo, 26, Australia
  15. Udit Singhal, 18, India
  16. Vanessa Nakate, 23, Uganda
  17. Zahin Razeen, 22, Bangladesh
Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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