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The 2021 edition of YouthConnekt Africa Summit has been officially launched at the Accra Marriott Hotel with close to 100 key stakeholders participating physically and virtually.

Performing the launch, Minister for Youth & Sports, Mustapha Ussif thanked the President of Ghana, President Akufo-Addo for accepting to host the summit (the fourth in the series) here in Ghana.

He also commended H.E Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda for convening 44 African Heads of state in 2018 to sign the framework for the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement and also for his passion for issues bothering on youth development which has resulted in the birth of the YouthConnekt Africa platform which in turn has given birth to the Youth Connekt Africa Summit.

“Given the significant number of youth in Africa, it is evident that Africa’s growth and development rests in the hands of current and future generations. This is why it is so important to nurture the talents of young people and ensure they have decent jobs and the right opportunities to realize their hopes and dreams” Mr. Ussif emphasised.

Mr. Pius E. Hadzide, CEO of the National Youth Authority also thanked H.E Nana Akuffo-Addo and H.E Paul Kagame for their strong conviction and desire to give the youth of Africa a voice and a seat around the table.

This he said is important and commendable as it prepares the continent for tomorrow.

“When our Heads of State gathered to sign to sign AfCFTA and when they tasked our Ministers of Youth to adapt YouthConnekt Africa, they were securing for us the youth of Africa an inheritance which is imperishable and which will not fade away” Mr. Hadzide stated.

He said the Summit offers youth across Africa an opportunity to connect with each other as well as with policy influencers, political leaders, public, private and development sector institutions to engage, discuss, design and accelerate youth empowerment efforts at the continental level.

“As we accept this invitation to engage, I pledge on behalf of the youth of Africa that we shall rediscover and redirect ourselves to the virtues of respect, discipline, love for neighbor and country at large, honesty and that we shall avail ourselves to the opportunities created by AfCFTA and leverage same for our development and the development of our nations.’’ Mr. Hadzide again stated.

Madam Rosemary Mbabazi, Rwandan Minister for Youth and Culture, Mr. Stan Nkwain, UNDP Director of Regional Service Center Africa, H.E Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Rwandan High Commissioner to Ghana, Dr. Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana and Ms. Oulie Keita, Executive Director at the YouthConnekt Africa Hub in Rwanda all took turns to address the stakeholders present.

The YouthConnekt Africa Summit intends to create a platform for a larger number of young people from all over the continent to converge, learn and engage in YouthConnekt Africa’s youth development programs.

The theme for this year’s Summit is “Africa Beyond Aid: Positioning the Youth for the Post Covid Economy and AfCFTA Opportunities” and is expected to be a hybrid Summit convening about 18,000 delegates both virtually and in-person.

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