ECA Urges Youths To Raise Voices To Shaping Africa’s Devt


The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), has challenged African youth to raise their voices in shaping the future development of the continent ahead of the Summit of the Future.
The executive secretary of ECA, Claver Gatete, said this in a statement issued on the commission’s website.

Gatete, while opening the African Youth Consultative Forum on the UN Summit for Future held in Addis Ababa, emphasised the importance of investing in the ‘youth divided’.

He challenged young people to amplify their voices and participate in global affairs in shaping the future of Africa.

“Youth must participate in the issues that matter to the Common Agenda of the United Nations which has 12 commitments from where the issues are.

“Being drawn for the Summit of the future in September as well as the Social Summit in 2025, where the youth must be involved,” Gatete said.

According to the ECA boss, about 70 per cent of the population in Africa are young people and that by 2030, 42 per cent of the global youth will be from Africa.
He said this dynamic was reflective of how the youth should be treated.

“You cannot have the future without developing the youth of today and the youth of tomorrow.

“Youth have to participate in all spheres of the implementation of the SDGs by 2030 and should be involved in achieving the targets,” he said.

Gatete acknowledged the multiplicity of challenges faced by African countries, including the cascading impact of COVID-19, debt servicing, access to affordable financing among others.

“It is therefore critical for the youth to have a say in these discussions so that their ideas are considered in the Summit of the Future in September 2024.

“We need your voice and your contribution. This is the time to make your contribution.

“Of the 12 commitments in our Common Agenda, the 11th commitment is about listening and working with the youth,”Gatete said.

The ECA Director of Strategic Planning, Oversight and Results Division (SPORD), Said Adejumobi said you could not have a summit of the future without the people of the future.

According to him, the future can only be defined in the context of the present, you (youth) are not only leaders of tomorrow but leaders of today.

Mutetsi Oliver, the Vice-President of Eastern Africa, Pan African Youth Union said young people were eager to participate in shaping the future of Africa.

Oliver, however, reiterated the need for them (youth) to be supported to thrive on the continent.

She said that insecurity was a major challenge on the continent as was rising unemployment and lack of access to education, health, and social services to young people.

“We employ young people to put their government to task to give them start-up capital just like others do with investors as well as access to land and loans.

“I, therefore, call for the prioritisation and provision of sexual, reproductive, and mental health services to young people,” Oliver said.

Assistant secretary general and director of United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP) Africa Bureau, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, said the Africa Youth Forum was a pivotal moment for young people.

Eziakonwa, represented by Mr Matthias Naab, the Director, UNDP said this was as Africa reiterated its dedication to multilateralism to pave the way to a promising future for the youth.

“The world is far from achieving the SDGs, and as Africa races to achieve Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, the Summit of the Future is a beacon of hope.

“While the Youth Forum offered an opportunity to articulate the positions, thoughts, priorities, and urges of young Africans toward the Summit of the future.

“Youth empowerment is both a goal and mission and the young people represent great minds with a potential to transform Africa,” he said.

Meanwhile, Daniel Adugna from the African Union Commission (AUC), said Africa was already the youngest continent and it must invest in developing its young people.

He said the integration of Africa was at the forefront of Agenda 2063 and would unlock economic opportunities for the continent.


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