A while ago a group of young entrepreneurs (15-35) were invited by the African Union to help set up a continental Youth Entrepreneurship Network (YEN). Below is a summary from the literature provided, it explains the driving force behind this initiative.
Agenda 2063 calls for a full realization of Africa’s integration and sustainable development. The African Union Commission (AUC) is the hub-and-spoke of this agenda. The AUC recognizes that a critical mass of a developed and fully engaged human resource capital from across Africa gives impetus to the evolutionary process of Agenda 2013. In light of this, young entrepreneurs are pivotal to achievement of a prosperous, integrated continent as the future we want to see. It is advantageous for the African Union (AU) if its institutions engage the current generation of young African in active service towards the realization of the continental vision. In particular, if Africa is to reap the demographic dividend it must articulate comprehensive and coherent youth policies, legislations and strategies to facilitate rapid economic growth.
In line with this, the African Union Commission is currently seeking young entrepreneurs to drive the vision of a prosperous continent through local hubs in their communities. Union Commission is looking for young African entrepreneurs who are passionate about the need to drive entrepreneurship on the continent and have the capacity to influence action both in their local communities and at continental level.
That’s the basic gist. We were not the only ones meeting. We were part of a bigger event titled Africa Re-imagination Creative Hub (Arch): Developing the Identity, Heritage, Arts and Culture Chapter for Agenda 2063. The event brought together a group of Artist from across the continent and also African artist in the Diaspora. I have to admit they brought the fun element to the whole event. It’s really interesting being around creative people…
After half a day of joint meetings with the artists we split up into our various groups. The aim of the first day was to give all the participants a better understanding of Agenda 2063 to ensure that our outcomes are aligned with the broader objectives.
Dr Agosu started with a short talk to kick off the discussions. Below is a summary of her talk
- This was the first gathering of young entrepreneurs in the AU (African Union)
- The goal is to get the perspective of young entrepreneurs on th continent.
- Find out how the AU can work with the youth effectively.
- How does the AU help put in place the resources required to make entrepreneurship successful.
After the talk we deliberated as a group and then had break-out sessions. The team was separated into 3 groups
- Governance and Constitution Development Group
- Brand Development and Marketing Group
- Work plan Development Group (my group)
The two pictures above are of my team. It was an interesting deliberation. My team consisted of 3 English speakers, 2 french speakers and 2 Portuguese speakers. There were 6 of us in total which means 1 person could speak both Portuguese and English and 1 person could speak both Portuguese and French. This shows the diversity within Africa and that was the first time I had found my self in that type of situation. Unfortunately what happened is that the deliberations were dominated by the English speakers because we constituted the majority, however there was a conscious effort to ensure that everybody was part of the discussion. So we would start with English, then it gets translated to Portuguese and then to French….wow right! It was quite challenging because when we got into a heated debate, which happened a few times :-), a lot was lost in translation. All I know is I need to learn french…
It wasn’t all work work work, we had some social events as well…below are some pictures from the closing ceremony
Outcome: We left Ethiopia with tasks assigned to each group, that for the most part has now been completed. A draft constitution has been presented, the branding and marketing team have come up with great ideas for everyone to review, the work plan team has also shared a plan and working on monitoring and evaluation to ensure we achieve our goals and objectives. However there is still so much more to be done. I’m hopeful, it’s still early days.
I ws really glad to be part of the event, I suspect I have made some life long friends, broadened my horizons in all kinds of ways and pumped up to… 🙂
Did you know….
- Africa is the only continent with a youth charter…other countries are now following our lead… check it out here…. http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/AFRICAN_YOUTH_CHARTER.pdf
- The African Youth Decade 2009-2018. http://summits.au.int/en/17thsummit/news/african-youth-decade-2009-2018-plan-action-accelerating-youth-empowerment-sustainabl
Thanks for stopping by 🙂