The second edition of the Africa's largest youth gathering - YouthConnekt Africa Summit started today in Kigali, bringing together over 2,500 delegates from 90 countries.
Held under the theme "Connekting youth for continental transformation", the three-day summit attracts representatives from Ministries of Youth, Multilateral Organisations, Social Enterprises, Investors, Young Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Professionals.
In his opening address, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente noted that achieving the 'Africa We Want' by 2063 requires holistic transformation and that the role of youth is key.
"About 70% of Africa's population is under the age of 30. With Africa's population projected to double by 2050, we are the youngest continent. Therefore, any plan for improving the future of Africa, must factor in the role of young people" the PM Ngirente said.
The Premier also challenged the youth to take ownership of Africa's transformation journey by properly using their skills, connections and resources.
"My call to all African youth, especially you who are gathered here today, is to rise to the challenge, and take ownership of the journey. Use your skills, networks and resources to build the Africa We Want. Use this summit to double connections with your peers, and learn about what they are doing. Use all your platforms to engage more policy makers in your respective countries" Prime Ngirente said.
PM Ngirente further reiterated Rwanda's commitment to expanding opportunities for young people to reach their personal and professional goals, and participate confidently in nation-building.
The 2018 YouthConnekt Summit will also see the launch of the YouthConnekt Hubs which will serve a conducive platform for joint action among multiple stakeholders, to focus on the most important issues affecting youth development.
YouthConnekt is a Rwandan homegrown solution launched in 2012 during the National Dialogue. Its overall mission is to leverage technology to connect youth to their role models and opportunities for civic engagement, social and economic empowerment. The YouthConnekt Initiative won the UN Innovation Award, which led other countries to express interest in scaling up the initiative to their respective home countries. So far, eight countries have adopted YouthConnekt including Liberia, Republic of Congo, DRC, SierraLeone, Uganda, The Gambia, Zambia and CapeVerde. The first YouthConnekt Africa Summit was held in Kigali in July 2017