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Rwanda hosts Africa summit on youth
entrepreneurship, skills development  

KIGALI, (Xinhua) -- The inaugural of YouthConnekt Africa Summit scheduled for Wednesday in the Rwandan Capital, Kigali, will focus on promoting job creation through entrepreneurship and skills development among young people, according to organizers.

The conference that will gather about 2,500 participants including more than 100 youth entrepreneurs’ exhibitions is organized by the government of Rwanda, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Rwandan minister of youth and ICT Jean Philbert Nsengimana told reporters on Tuesday the event will primarily dwell on motivating and supporting young people in Africa to address unemployment through entrepreneurship and skills development.

“We are looking at empowering African youth to be entrepreneurs and participate in advocacy and become role models in their communities. The summit will also encourage economic development and transformation among young people,” he added.

Rwanda will host the YouthConnekt Africa Summit from July 19-21 dubbed: “Realizing Africa’s Youth Potential” and will bring together government officials, the youth, entrepreneurs, investors, multinationals and start-ups shaping the African technological ecosystem to interact and discuss on the methods of using technology to drive Africa economic growth.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group is expected to be among key guest speakers the event, alongside, Rwanda President Paul Kagame, secretary general of UNCTAD Mukhisa Kituyi and UNDP assistant administrator Abdoulaye Mar Diye.

According Abdoulaye Mar Diye, this is the time for young people across Africa to take part in increasing Africa’s competitiveness in the global economy through entrepreneurship and job creation.

“Creating opportunities, providing entrepreneurial development, access to financial technology, and leadership programs will shape the future of our youth in Africa,” he said.

YouthConnekt Africa is a result of a highly successful initiative launched in 2012 by the government of Rwanda and UNDP.

The YouthConnekt initiative is a multi-faceted program that engages youth in national dialogue, and works with them to find or create their own employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

It’s designed to realize the demographic dividend by combining elements of skills development, entrepreneurship, access to jobs and finance, awareness raising on issues related to youth development, and promotion of youth citizenship. 



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