The Youth Connekt Africa Summit 2021 has ended with a call on stakeholders to support youth-oriented businesses and programmes with concrete actions and not just words.
Stakeholders are to ensure this by answering to young people and forming partnerships with them to enable them spearhead the fight against unemployment in the African continent.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif said this at the closing ceremony of the summit in Accra on Friday October 22, 2021.
“To all those representatives from government, civil society, business, and media with us today, this summit calls on us to form partnerships with these inspiring young people,” he stated.
“We must answer, and not just with words, but with concrete actions like the establishment of a Youth Innovation Fund to help creative, youth-led projects and enterprises,” he added.
Mr Ussif noted that the issue of youth marginalisation in politics must to be tackled by intensifying diplomatic actions to enhance solidarity.
“The underrepresentation of the youth in the political processes must be addressed because we know that structural barriers such as perceived inexperience, a lack of social network or insufficient financial resources can be overcome,” he said.
“We need to consider ways to strengthen youth engagements in inter-governmental processes as part of rejuvenate materialism as this will be critical in fostering unity,” he added.
For her part, Assistant Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ahunna Eziakonwa indicated that an enabling environment which ensured that young people thrived was the catalyst to ending Africa’s dependency on foreign aid.
“Africa’s quest to rid itself off a dependence on aid requires a scale of action and transformation that must operate in environments that intentionally connive for the youth to succeed,” she said.
The Assistant Administrator stressed that the UNDP, going forward would have high-level engagements with “governments to press ahead on the urgently needed enabling environments in supporting young people’s efforts for the Made in Africa Revolution.”
She further urged the youth to fall on the network in order to accelerate the realization of an Africa Beyond Aid.
Bringing together more than 3,000 physical participants in Accra and over 1,400 virtual participants, the Youth Connekt Africa Summit proved to be a unique space for the Youth of Africa to deliberate and engage with policy makers from over 60 countries in Africa and beyond.
Under the theme “Africa Beyond Aid: Positioning the Youth for the Post COVID-19 Economy and AfCFTA Opportunities” and the call to action “YOUthCanDoIt,” African Youth engaged with political leaders, policy makers and all development stakeholders to deliberate on ways to leverage innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship for youth empowerment and well-being for sustainable development of the African continent.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR