“At a time when the future of work is becoming infinitely more precarious and most young graduates struggle to find employment, the number of African youths out of work remains stubbornly high. Given the fact that people under 35 make up the majority in populations across the continent, solving youth unemployment and underemployment will be the defining factor in terms of the African continent reaching its full potential.”
– Maudo fallow

With the starting of trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement – a continent-wide trade agreement will stretch across a 2.5 trillion-dollar market of 1.3 billion people as well as the commencement of Phase II negotiations, our overreaching goal for the year is to build. Building platforms that will empower the youth to become the real custodians of Africa’s future. Building capacity and awareness-raising around the AfCFTA and its prospects. Building intergenerational opportunities for dialogue, partnerships and leadership. Building successful policy advocacy campaigns.

Why is meaningful youth engagement so important?

Africa’s most valuable resource for inclusive and sustainable socio-economic transformation lies not in the abundance of natural resources but in its largest population group – the youth.

To give perspective;

  • Young people under the age of 25 currently account for 60% of Africa’s ) population.
  • All 10 of the world’s youngest countries are in Africa. – By 2050, Africa’s abounding youth population is forecast to account for a quarter of the world’s labour force.
  • In less than three generations, Africa is projected to house more than 40% of the world’s population.
  • This not only signifies that Africa is the next frontier for development, it also highlights the critical role the youth need to play in influencing policy, legislative and social change.

Over the last couple of years, I have witnessed young people disrupting the status quo and leading the way in building more equal, unified and resilient communities. The fight, the fire, the furry has both inspired and fueled m passion for the betterment of our continent.
Please join us on this journey in building the Africa We Want.

LETHABO SITHOLE
Chair, AfCFTA Youth Forum Advisory Board

Written by : Maudo Jallow

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