The 6th Edition of Youth Connekt Africa Summit 2023 Kicks Off in Nairobi

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Today marks the commencement of the highly anticipated 6th edition of the YouthConnekt Africa Summit at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). 

Hosted by the Government of Kenya in collaboration with the YouthConnekt Africa Hub and UNDP, this year’s summit, themed “Youth Innovating a Borderless African Renaissance,” is set to run from December 8th to December 12th, 2023.

The YouthConnekt Africa initiative has a vision of connecting African youth for socio-economic transformation. With a mission to empower young people by enhancing their knowledge, experiences, and skills, the summit aims to invest in their ideas, innovations, and initiatives to ensure progress in harnessing Africa’s demographic dividends by 2030.

Summit Goals:

1. Jobs & Entrepreneurship:

  • Aim to create 10 million jobs in sustainable environments within emerging industries.

2. Gender:

  • Develop sustainable initiatives and policies to reduce gender inequality in education, jobs, technology, and leadership.

3. Education/Skills:

  • Create 25 million opportunities through training and workplace enrollment.

4. Technology & Innovation:

  • Connect incubation hubs across the continent and provide access to markets, capital, and partnership opportunities.
  • Nurture 5,000 digital ambassadors in every African country.
  • Connect and digitally empower 100 million Africans.

5. Civic Participation & Leadership:

  • Identify, nurture, and grow 1 million leaders.

Implementation Strategies:

1. Policies:

  • Bridge gaps between nations by bringing together government leaders and policy influencers to share knowledge and exchange strategic ideas.
  • Implement policies in alignment with the African Youth Charter and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

2. Programs:

  • Identify and facilitate collaboration on existing programs aligned with YouthConnekt Africa’s goals.

3. Partnerships:

  • Seek partnerships with private sectors, government institutions, civic society, development partners, and academia for program delivery and innovation.

The summit is expected to convene over 20,000 participants, including young entrepreneurs, leaders, innovators, artists, students, heads of state, ministers of youth, government officials, AU Commission leaders, heads of development partners, international organizations, business leaders, innovation and incubation labs, academia, sports and creative industry leaders, and the media.

The event will also include a marketplace and investor meetings.

Past editions were held in Kigali, Rwanda and Accra, Ghana. 

This edition, aligned with Kenya’s 60th independence anniversary, aims to draw attention to the true liberty and freedom of the African continent, envisioning a new Africa where people, goods, and services can move across the continent without restrictions.

Thematic Areas and Activities

The summit will focus on seven thematic areas, including Sustainable Green Livelihoods, Climate Adaptation and Resilience; The Renaissance of the African Dream; Leveraging Innovation and the Digital Era; Sustainable Peace, Security and Reconciliation; Enterprise Development: The Future of Africa’s Borderless Commerce; Vulnerabilities around Mental, Sexual and Reproductive Health; and Reimagining Business for Africa’s Creative Industry, Sports, and Culture.

Participants can expect thought leadership roundtables, Xchange Lounges for networking, masterclasses for learning and elevation, spotlight presentations by trailblazers, and high-level plenaries for discussions and debates.

Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Creative Economy, and Sports, Ababu Namwamba, highlighted the presence of representatives from DRC, Burundi, Senegal, Niger, Sudan, and Ethiopia, emphasizing Youth Connekt as the most consequential platform for realizing the African Youth Charter.