There is no doubt that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a Pan-African imperative of achieving an economically integrated Africa.
According to the World Bank, AfCFTA is set to create the largest free trade area in the world. It connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion. AfCFTA presents a major opportunity for African countries to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and to raise the incomes of 68 million others who live on less than $5.50 per day.
With the implementation of AfCFTA, trade facilitation measures that cut red tape and simplify customs procedures would drive $292 billion of the $450 billion in potential income gains.
With the AfCFTA firmly in place, Africa now has the tools to place itself as a global superpower. But it must use its greatest asset, the youth.
Africa has an invaluable asset and a major comparative advantage relative to other continents: 60% of its population is under age 25.
By 2050, Africa’s youth population is projected to reach 460 million people, about six times the size of the youth population of Europe. This demographic shift will be Africa’s biggest challenge, but it also provides its most significant opportunity.
The success of the AfCFTA will squarely depend on the capacity of African governments to tap into the potentials offered by the youthful human capital.
To make the AfCTA a reality, there must be an improved collaboration between governments of member states and partners geared towards escalating the number of young people with the relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, required for employment and entrepreneurship.
This is an international conference where representatives from around Africa and beyond will be present to discuss ideas, strategies and case studies on youth and women mainstreaming in the AfCTA implementation, from the viewpoint of experts and leaders, governments, development agencies, youth and women groups, media, and students.
The summit will also offer young business owners and innovative high school and tertiary school students from across Africa the opportunity to showcase their innovative businesses, network and access the much-needed business deals and funding. It is our strong belief that getting to know your personal reviews and understanding on this important subject will be an outstanding benefit of this conference.
The summit is expected to be graced by H.E. Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, the President of the Republic of Zambia. H.E Chief Olusegun Obasanjo former President of Nigeria and African Union Special Envoy on the Horne of Africa is expected to present the Keynote address.
The AfCTA Youth Summit offers the right platform for sharing of ideas, strategies and case studies on youth and women mainstreaming in the AfCTA implementation, from the viewpoint of experts and leaders, governments, development agencies, youth and women groups, media, and students.
It also offers young business owners and innovative high school and tertiary school students from across Africa the opportunity to showcase their innovative businesses, network and access much needed business deals and funding.
This summit will:
- Discuss Ideas and Opportunities of increasing awareness of the AfCTA among young people and women across Africa. The first step is to let the youths understand the AfCTA concept.
- Discuss the URGENT NEED to produce a youth population who are ready for the economy through education reform that will facilitate the unhindered engagement of young people in the socioeconomic development of their countries. The continent needs human capital with better 21st century skills to achieve its goals.
- Discuss Opportunities, Options and Strategies of enhancing ACCESS to Finance for young entrepreneurs in the continent. Most small business owners in Africa are young people, this means access to finance for our young entrepreneurs is the biggest challenge for the AfCTA.
- Discuss the Challenges and Opportunities and Strategies of achieving a seamless digital payment system and the reduction of cost of trade across Africa.
- Provide the opportunity for stakeholders to share experiences and opportunities on how to forge collaborative action among players in the ecosystem.
- It will also recognize, and honour outstanding students and young people led businesses across Africa.
- Enhance multi-cultural integration and intra-regional business networking opportunities.
- Provide AfCTA Master Class opportunity for SMEs.
The first Summit was held in January 2020 in Abuja Nigeria
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