The Africa Youth SDGs summit is what 90% of the African Youths blessed with skills should know about. Not just knowing, but also being a part and beneficiary of this wonderful entrepreneurial scheme.
Africa accumulates the youngest population with over 200 million people aged 15-24, as at 2015 accounting for 19 percent of the global youth population (UNECA 2015). By 2030, it is projected that the number of youth in Africa will sky rocket to 42 per cent. In defiance of the alarming numbers, we can categorically state that…investment in the socio-economic empowerment and participation of young people in decision-making processes on the continent is restricted to a few oligarchs. The majority of African youth continue to face a myriad of challenges not limited to the popular “unemployment”, also in the addition; lack of skills, quality education and quality health care. Hence, a large chunk of the youths do not have the opportunity to fully develop, not to talk of boldly exhibiting their potential—contribute effectively to the development agenda on the continent.
It will be very intriguing to postulate the existence and establishment of the African Youth SDGs Summit series which first showcase in 2017, Ghana as an annual Pan-African country rotational initiative to mobilize and activate the power of young people…boulevard the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa. The maiden event attracted 425 participants from 25 countries tackling topics spanning across SDGs themes such as ENVIRONMENT, GENDER, DISABILITIES, ECONOMIC and SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT.
The African Youth SDGs Summit envisions a continent which is open to continuous dialogue with its vibrant youthful population. The future goal of the initiative is to ensure that this is not a one-time event but the start of larger movement and SDG Youth conversation in Africa.
The African Youth SDGs Summit is arguably the largest gathering platform for ‘innovative youth’ across the African continent and beyond to debate and assess the status and implementation of continental commitments to the Global Goals. It is a summit that brings duty bearers and right holders together to reaffirm actions towards sustainably development on the continent from the perspectives of the continent’s largest population, the youth.
The Summit series phase out in 2017 with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) accommodating 423 delegates from 25 countries for two days of interactive workshops and plenary sessions spanning across SDGs themes on environment, gender, disability, economic and social development. One could easily conclude from experience that the 2017 summit enjoyed high-level participation of dignitaries including the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Clock, Ghana`s Minister for Planning, Hon. Professor Gyan Baffour, the Chief Executive Officer of National Youth Authority, Mr. Emmanuel Asigiri and the Executive Director of African Monitor, Ms. Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso. The summit has since been named finalist of UN SDG Action Campaign in Bonn, Germany.
The very latest 2nd edition of the summit held from 7-9 November 2018, strictly organized under the auspices of the Ghana`s Ministry of Planning, hosted by Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG), UNFPA and 2030 Youth Alliance in cooperation with UNDP and SDGs Advisory Unit at the Office of the President, Republic of Ghana. The summit received her first blessing with a Presidential Opening by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Co-Chair of UN Eminent Advocates for the SDGs, further graced with high-level plenary in Ministerial Evening Dialogue on Youth, Patrons Roundtable on Financing Youth Development in Africa, special and parallel sessions on the implementation on African Governance Architecture (ACDEG) and workshops on participation of young people in the Voluntary National Review leading to the High-Level Political Forum among other themes—staged at the Accra International Conference Centre, Accra Ghana drew and welcomed about 1,000 delegates representing youth organizations and AU agencies, National Governments, International Development agencies, Civil Society Organizations mixed with private sectors across board and SDGs actors deliberating and exchanging experience involving good practices regarding the implementation of the SDGs and African Union Agenda 2063.