Over 2,800 youth from across Africa and beyond ended the Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Kigali on Wednesday, with determination to own the struggle to transform Africa.
They resolved to not ask for what the continent can do for them but rather embrace the challenge to lead Africa to the future it has longed for generations.
For three days, the youth were full of energy as they discussed different topics of at the summit, which touched on innovation, economic integration, closing the gender gap, job creation, urbanisation and volunteerism.
"We have heard you, dear youth of Africa, and will work collaboratively to ensure we deliver the platforms and services you need. We invite you to be partners in the delivery of the transformation of Africa," said Rosemary Mbabazi, the Minister for Youth, during the official closing of the summit.
Mbabazi also noted that it is a mandate of governments and development partners to ensure the right environment for the young people to thrive.
The summit was held under the theme; "Connekting Youth for Continental Transformation".
"As we witnessed through the many sessions and side conversations, African youth are brilliant, creative and have the will to drive the continent's transformation," she added.
Rhonah Umuriza, a public health student at the Catholic University of Rwanda, told The New Times that the summit has been kind of an eye-opener where it awakened her to the potential in her to contribute to the transformation of her community and continent.
"I have learnt a lot but above all is the realisation that I am the greatest asset, potential and hope that Africa has and being all that means working hard and doing all it takes to see my Africa growing and developing," Umuriza said.
Sphesihle Nxumalo, from South Africa, said that the conference challenged young Africans to build a united Africa upholding the Ubuntu ideology - free from any form of discrimination - and pushing for a common and bigger market for young Africans to trade and connect freely.
Ornella Kayirebwa, another participant, said she was more captivated by the "Women Tech Talks" session, which essentially was a platform to inspire girls to venture into technology.
"As a woman, I thought of navigating into "Business Tech space," it's cool and mind opening. Also, I enjoyed the "Conversation with business Leaders" session," added Kayirebwa, who works with a local translation firm, Symposia Consult.