Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be the key agents for the development and peace.
Over 10,000 youths gathered in Kigali, Rwanda this year to attend the third edition of YouthConnekt Africa Summit, under the theme Boosting an Industrious Young Africa .
One of the young entrepreneaurs attending the summit from Malawi, Marshall Dyton who is also the CEO and Founder of Freelance Web Solutions expressed how the summit has been beneficial to him.
“It is a game changer. You know, to have a chance to connect and network with other cream of young Africans who share same vision for our continent is once in a lifetime opportunity. The challenges that we have in Africa can only be solved by Africans and we have a capacity for that. There is so much energy and enthusiasm among us to take African continent to where it is supposed to be and we should no longer expect anyone to do anything for us,” he said.
Concurring with Dyton, another participant from Malawi, Hashiem Sinoya said the summit has helped to make new connections that will help in expansion of his business.
“The summit has left my brain boiling. I am a Malawian but based in South Africa where I do a courier and transportation business. Currently we help companies and individuals from Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana to buy and ship goods from South Africa. But coming here has helped me to add another route, which is Rwanda. This means that we will now be able to ship goods to and from Rwanda,” he said.
Apart from that Hashiem said the summit has helped to make new friends and has learnt many things from other innovative young Africans.
The summit started on 9th October and ended on 11th October.
In his keynote address, President of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame said the summit is in the spirit of bringing together young people irrespective of gender, religion, borders and this means integration and connection.
“So to be able to connect people across the world, you should have a starting point. The starting point maybe home, home means home, whether in Rwanda, Mali or Cameroun, or from where you have all come from,” he said.
According to Youthconnekt Africa this year’s summit centered on connecting skill development to address the high levels of youth unemployment in Africa.
Didier Drogba UNDP Goodwill ambassador and retired professional footballer also spoke to encourage the youth. He said Africans shouldn’t be self-centered and forget their fellow Africans, but instead strive for the development of the continent by investing in it and its people.
“You should take a lead to become a greater achiever and turn your talent and passion into profit,” he said.
Youthconnekt Africa summit is an annual gathering that connects youth from across the continent with policy influencers, program ledears, private sectors and Non governmental institutions to come up with a youth empowerment implementation strategy through strategic partnership.
It was Launched in Rwanda in 2012 and it has been embrace for its innovative design and implementation by providing youth with skillful innovations.