YouthConnekt Africa 2017: from Potential to Success

IIDEA, the Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa ,was invited to actively participate and partner at the first YouthConnekt Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda from the 19th-21st July, 2017. Eight of IIDEA’s Partners engaged with youth employment, entrepreneurship and empowerment projects attended – these were Danceteam Africa, ClinicPesa, ProKaziea, NIP-YE, Culture and Development East Africa, the Campfire Logs Guild, Bayimba and Sauti Africa. Through the Summit, IIDEA and its partners were able to showcase innovations and achievements, network with potential stakeholders and become a fixture in the largest event of its kind in Africa. IIDEA’s Innovation Hub in particular drew lots of attention at the Summit. Here, IIDEA’s Partners exhibited their work in a wide range of sectors to delegates from across Africa.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), amongst other partners including GIZ Rwanda, organised the first YouthConnekt Africa Summit, which was hosted by H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. YouthConnekt 2017 brought together 2,500 delegates comprised of leaders, young entrepreneurs, the private sector and media to look at the challenges facing young Africans and develop solutions. The objectives of YouthConnekt Africa addressed by the Summit included generating 10 million jobs by 2020, creating 25 million training opportunities, identifying and nurturing one million young leaders, working towards gender parity and developing a hub to connect incubators across the continent. As such, YouthConnekt Africa Summit 2017 sought to initiate policy, establish programmes and develop sustainable partnerships.
Overall, the YouthConnekt Africa Summit 2017 highlighted a number of key issues. Firstly, intergovernmental cooperation and integration is pivotal for generating opportunities for young people to thrive. In addition, governments must create a conducive environment for the private sector to grow and prosper. Moreover, it is essential to ensure that young entrepreneurs and professionals gain access to technical and financial support to translate their ideas into reality. But most importantly, young people need to take the future into their own hands. After all, the future is theirs.

More information is available at https://www.youthconnektafrica.org/ and on the Youth Connekt Facebook page