Youth Connekt Africa Summit Opens in Kigali

The inaugural Youth Connekt Africa summit opened in the Rwandan capital Kigali Thursday with the participation of over 2500 delegates from all over the continent.

The summit is looking into ways to realize the potential of the continent’s youths, forming the world’s largest youth population.

Besides setting up networks among participating delegates, the gathering will address issues such as skills development, entrepreneurship, access to finance and employment.

According to experts, this will ensure that the continent’s youthful population becomes an asset instead of being a challenge.
The United Nations estimates that there are over 226 million people aged between 15-24 on the continent, making Africa the most youthful continent.
However, these youths are facing the chronic challenge of unemployment, which is estimated at about 60 per cent.

The summit will highlight by the launch of the YouthConnekt Africa Empowerment Fund, an initiative that seeks to empower young people to have an impact in their communities.

The fund will be supported by private sector, donors, national governments, foundations and civil society organizations.
The fund is expected to offer regional support to youth empowerment initiatives such as grants, financing and training to youth-led projects, investment in creation of innovative and highly scalable start-ups, among others.

The summit’s concept was born from an initiative launched in 2012 by the Government of Rwanda in collaboration with One UN Rwanda,, recalls, adding that the concept came up as a solution to address concerns of Rwandan youth.