Born in Ruhango near the source of the legendary Nile River in the land of “A Thousand Hills” and lived on the banks of the powerful Congo River, a young African of 28 years, Anicet Buranga decided on September 10, 2007 to create an African organization in order to offer space for expression of the talents and leadership of young Africans with the aim of contributing to the construction of a fraternal, peaceful, prosperous and competitive Africa.
The history of the Promotional Council for Youth Action in Africa (COPAJE-AF) is in some way linked to that of its founder. When the war began in his country of origin, Rwanda, in 1990 Anicet was 11 years old, and 15 years old during the genocide of the Tutsis in 1994. He also lived through the war which ravaged Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). from 1996 to 1997, and that of Congo Brazzaville from 1997 to 1998. There were not only wars but also poverty, misery and all forms of violence. At a very young age, Anicet went through these tragedies which are the fruit of bad governance often encouraged by our indifference, our lack of courage in order to take responsibility for fighting against anti-values and contributing to the construction of a peaceful, fraternal and prosperous world.
His personal experience convinced him that if youth do not want to be victims of the scourges of bad governance, they should take responsibility and take action to contribute to positive changes in order to build an Africa, a prosperous, rich land. in human values and worthy of his children. Thus, our love of others and the passion to serve society, pushed Anicet to create COPAJE-AF on September 10, 2007 in order to offer African youth a space of expression and action to contribute to the progress of African society.
In 2007, when he created COPAJE-AF, Anicet was in a precarious situation like most young Africans. However, this was not an excuse for not taking action. Confidence and hope were always the light that illuminated him and motivated him to act, according to his words. He did not expect a miracle or help from any organization or someone to make his dreams come true. His family was not able to support him financially at that time in a land of exile. He relied only on God, himself and his team to realize the goals, missions and vision of the young organization. It was expected that external support was accepted and appreciated at its true value. Anicet later wrote: “I believed in myself whatever happened. I knew that I had to fight, get up and act. From the age of 15 I had learned to fight to take charge of myself, to help mine and take care of my studies by sometimes working nights in order to survive. I learned to find ways and means instead of excuses when I have to do my duty. I told myself that if things have to change , so I have to start contributing to them, to act, to change them, to take my part of the responsibility. I knew that there were millions of brave and courageous young Africans who were ready to do their best, even the impossible to bring about profound and positive changes around them and in Africa. So what? So, I got up, I founded and launched COPAJE-AF. I shared the idea with two young people who told me joined. I remember that we did not even have money to rent a premises. The first headquarters was at my home where we often held the meetings, sometimes at the home of another member of the association, and led the activities on the ground. Since then, young people have continued to join COPAJE-AF from all over Africa and elsewhere.” Thus COPAJE-AF was founded.
Our story continues and continues thanks to the many young Africans who have joined COPAJE-AF and others will join us. Present in more than 10 African countries and Canada, COPAJE-AF is determined to provide a space for expression of youth leadership in each African country.
Some make history, others retell it, they say. In COPAJE-AF, we have chosen to do both at the same time, to write it and to read it, to be part of African history by imposing through our actions positive progress by and with African youth.
Do not hesitate to join us. The door remains wide open for you to continue together this story which continues to be written in letters of pure gold with courage, and determination to build an Africa and nations that are fraternal, peaceful, just, prosperous, competitive and respected thanks to energy and knowledge of a valiant youth and all those who support them.
Together we will get there!
“Life is a gift from heaven, but success and happiness are the fruit of hard work crowned with enormous sacrifices and divine graces.” Anicet Buranga, founder of COPAJE-AF