Uew NUGS President joined YouthConnekt Africa Summit ’21 in Accra (+PHOTOS)

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The NUGS Secretariat of UEW led by the NUGS President – Mr. Issahaque Ismail Tuohesung joined this year’s YouthConnekt Africa Summit which took place from 20th – 22nd of October, 2021 at the Accra International Conference with the theme: “Africa beyond aid: Positioning African

Youth to cater for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Market.”
YouthConnekt Africa Summit is an annual convening that connects youth from across the continent and beyond with policy influencers, political leaders, and public, private and development sector institutions to engage, discuss, design, and accelerate youth empowerment efforts at a continental level.

Every year, the summit intends to create a platform for a larger number of young people from all over the continent to learn and engage in YouthConnekt Africa’s youth development program.

It also aims at addressing a variety of youth issues related to economic, social, and political empowerment of youth in Africa.

This year’s summit Hosted by H.E. President Nana Akufo Addo, YouthConnekt Africa Summit 2021 has delivered on a very high note, three days of highly engaging and inclusive sessions.

Bringing together more than 3,000 physical participants in Accra and over 1,400 virtual participants, the YouthConnekt Africa Summit proved to be a unique space for the Youth of Africa to deliberate and engage with policy makers from over 60 countries in Africa and beyond.

Under the theme “Africa Beyond Aid: Positioning the Youth for the Post Covid Economy and AfCFTA Opportunities” and the call to action “YOUthCanDoIt”, African Youth engaged with political leaders, policy makers and all development stakeholders to deliberate on ways to leverage innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship for youth empowerment and well-being for sustainable development of the African continent

The Summit took place while the world continues to face the negative effects of COVID 19. The pandemic increased the challenges faced by Youth including access to education and employment opportunities or the decline in business performance and required us to reassess and innovate.

The summit served as a platform to discuss and share good practices driven by the Youth to build our resilience to the many challenges caused by the pandemic.
The YouthConnekt Africa 2021 Summit has deliberated on the following:
1. Youth Participation in Regional Trade:

● That the adoption, promotion and operationalisation of an additional protocol on youth and women in the AfCFTA should be prioritised;

● That opportunities be created for young people to lead in economic integration policy making and deal breaking;

● That trade financing for young entrepreneurs to participate in the larger Africa market should be mobilised;

● That states should invest in women’s capacity building for their leadership and championing as entrepreneurs and job creators;

● That we should invest in building logistics infrastructure and systems that enable young entrepreneurs to quickly jump onto the opportunity created by the African Continental Free Trade Area;

● That we should make Africa Beyond Aid a reality and not a mere statement through intra Africa collaboration across sectors;

● That we should encourage youth to create production corridors along value chains of Africa’s commodities and services

● That the harmonization of accreditations for different professions across Africa and the promotion of industry relevant education should be prioritized.
2. Youth Inclusion and Leadership:

● That a Youth Advisory Council should be creation at the YouthConnekt Africa level

● That there should be an increase in budget allocations to Ministries and Agencies responsible for Youth, as they are serving a large demographic that needs to be accompanied to become independent and productive members of society.

3. Youth Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Employment:

● That we should improve ecosystem approaches for a stronger and more equitable pipeline of innovations at national and continental level;

● That we should ensure equitable and transparent processes in connecting entrepreneurs to the requisite financing for growth;

● That we reinforce national skills database platforms that identify and connect existing expertise to employment opportunities in new and emerging sectors regionally;

● That we reinforce programs that impart market-oriented capacities to youth for increased competitiveness on the continental and global job market;

● That governments create enabling environments for youth entrepreneurship through greater access to public infrastructure, education and internet;

● That Private Sector and Development Organisations recruit young people through internships, fellowships, volunteering and direct employment.

● That mechanisms and investments be put into place to empower youth in the creative industries

● That better and conducive financial instruments to fund youth in agripreneurship be created;

● That improved access to information on the different resource hubs for social entrepreneurs be made available

4. Youth Mental and Sexual and Reproductive Health:

● That we improve discourse and awareness of youth mental health and youth sexual reproductive health;

● That we design and implement better mechanisms that support youth recovery from mental health challenges and building their resilience

5. Knowledge Development on the Practice of Youth Development:

● That states should conduct M&E at national level for impact of YouthConnekt Initiatives to be captures and sharing of best practices;

● That a Knowledge Management mechanism of the YouthConnekt that leverages technology for communities of practice should be created;

● That YouthConnekt be institutionalised in Government for sustainability;

● That stronger mechanisms for Resource Mobilisation for Youth Development programs be created. We are committed to remain seized on these matters.

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