Heads of governments, business leaders and policy makers from across the continent have gathered in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt for the Africa 2018 conference.
Discussions are focused on the way forward for intra Africa trade and economic growth.
The continent has the youngest population in the world. 19 percent of the global youth population according to the United Nations are in Africa and by 2030, the number of youths on the continent would increase by 42 percent.
I think we have policy in Africa, but then how much of this policy do we have enforced and working? That's just the basic thing. When we get the policy right, we will get everything right.
Experts warn the challenge is real.
‘‘The population increase in Africa is both exciting and challenging. Because my role is on trade and investment, I see there’s a real opportunity here to turn this into the biggest positive for the continent. But it is all about job creation’‘, said Emma Wade Smith, the UK’s Trade Commissioner for Africa.
Also present are young leaders and innovators who believe entrepreneurship is the solution.
‘‘More than 45% of the African population is young so Africa can bring change to the continent. Young people must undertake innovative collaborative entrepreneurship ‘’, said young innovator and founder of MaishaPay, Landry Nyoga.
According to the United nations, if sub-Saharan Africa was to invest wisely in its human capital, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow by $500 billion annually for the next 30 years. But for this to happen, action is needed.
‘‘I think we have policy in Africa, but then how much of this policy do we have enforced and working? That’s just the basic thing. When we get the policy right, we will get everything right’‘, said entrepreneur, Olamide Ayeni Babajide.
Our journalist Jerry Bambi reports that young leaders and innovators at the conference agree that policy makers and government leaders across the continent need to realize the economic potential of youths and desist from paying lip services to the welfare of youths.@jerrybambi1