For this year, SYPALA was held at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria with 75 students and young professionals across Africa meeting giving hope to the continent once more as determined and revolutionary citizens as they discussed and deliberated how to deal with the issues facing Africa. Tom Palmer of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in a statement said, “This group of young people is so inspiring. Their questions are focused and well formulated. They are striving for understanding. And they are determined to win their liberty, to uphold their dignity, and to demand justice from their governments. They exemplify free minds exercising free speech to demand free markets and prosperity.”
The significance of this program is not lost on anyone and one Nigerian couldn’t have put it any better by saying that, “Nigeria’s quest for economic liberalization and socio-cultural liberty will receive a massive boost when some of the world’s most productive Libertarian voices come calling this week. Africa’s most populous country will host the Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy Seminar SYPALA 2011 at the historic Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from the 10th-15th August.” This shows that the mandate that SYPALA holds as it is regarded in high esteem.
There were various speakers and a wide range of themes. For instance, there was a presentation by Tom Palmer on The Concept, History and Importance of Freedom. Mr. Palmer’s take away point was that, citizens shouldn’t stop demanding the rule of law from their governments and that the onus was on them to ensure that they held government accountable and that property rights, properly defined, defendable and divestible (transferable) is one of the fundamental pillars for modern economic development. He noted also that Parliaments are not the sole repository of laws as there are many customary laws that make more sense although not implemented by Parliament.
Dr. Manuel Araujo also gave a lecture on the history of Mozambique, the fundamentals of economics and later The Political Economy of Regulation: How Regulation Kills Innovation and Enterprise in which he argued for deregulation and minimal governmental control to give rise to more entrepreneurial activities in a nation.
The problem with inefficient governments was also tackled to some extent with Dr.Mike Duru, Economics Professor at the Ahmadu Bello University stating that, “Every Nigerian is almost a municipality or community on his own, providing the basics that governments should have provided yet pays monumental taxes to the government.”
At the end of the week long summit, IMANI and SYPALA could be sure that it had impacted the youth in a positive manner encouraging them to continue to strive for libertarian ideals for the improvement of their continent.