NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
African governments are urged to implement
affirmative action policies to ensure the youthful population is
at the center of the continent’s quest for economic progress
alongside social and political renewal.
Kenya in conjunction
with multilateral partners is hosting the three-day Africa Youth
Conference in Nairobi whose theme is prioritizing investments in
African youth within the post-2015 Agenda.
Cabinet Secretary for Youth and Gender Affairs, told delegates,
including policymakers and campaigners, that policy incentives
coupled with life-long learning and access to capital were key
to ensure the young generation is part of Africa’s
“Africa is grappling
with a youth bulge that should be harnessed to make a positive
contribution to the continent’s envisaged growth and
transformation agenda,” Kobia remarked.
“We must scale up
best practices to ensure the youth have gainful employment,
skills and seed capital required to make them self-reliant and
resilient,” she added.
The 2018 Africa
Youth Conference sought to spotlight strategic areas that the
continent’s youthful population can be actively engaged to
promote economic growth, peace, stability and environmental
Kobia said that
greater participation of the youth is key to modernizing and
enhancing the competitiveness of African economies in the era of
should create an enabling environment for the youth to
participate in the digital economy that is unleashing the next
wave of prosperity in the continent,” said Kobia.
institutions have rallied behind concerted efforts by African
countries to tackle youth unemployment, skills deficit and
social exclusion that poses existential threat to the
continent’s stability and progress.
the Eastern and Southern Africa Region Director for UN Women,
said that competence-based learning, mentorship and easy access
to start-up capital is key to ensuring African youth contribute
optimally to the continent’s growth agenda.
“African youth are
resilient and can be drivers of change if they have access to
requisite skills, technologies, innovations and mentorship,”said
Derex-Briggs, adding that growth of social enterprises in Africa
is being fueled by the youth.
Labor Organization says that 3 in every 5 unemployed people in
Sub-Saharan Africa are youth hence exposing them to poverty and
social ills like crime, drug abuse and radicalization.
Mildred Nzau, a
Kenyan youth advocate, said that robust public private
partnerships could offer solution to skills and funding gaps
that limit the capacity of African youth to realize their