Four countries including Liberia bid to host next YouthConnekt Africa summit

The Minister of Youth, Rosemary Mbabazi speaks at the YouthConneckt Africa Summit in Kigali on October 11, 2019. Emmanuel Kwizera

Four countries have put in their bids to host next year’s YouthConneckt Africa Summit, the largest youth gathering on the continent, it has emerged.

This was announced in Kigali on Friday at the conclusion of the 2019 edition of the youth summit.

The countries include Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia and Uganda, according to Rwanda’s Minister for Youth, Rosemary Mbabazi.

She was addressing a news conference at Kigali Convention Centre at the end of the three-day gathering that attracted some 8,000 delegates from across the continent and beyond. Participants were drawn from 91 countries.

Rwanda has played host to the annual summit since it was first held three years ago. This year’s edition was third.

The idea for YouthConnekt Africa Summit developed from similar annual youth gatherings that originally brought together Rwandan youth between 2012 and 2016.

“The President (Paul Kagame) was very clear; he said this summit should truly be an African thing,” he said. “So yesterday we had four countries expressing interest to host the summit.”

A technical team will evaluate the bids before a decision is taken regarding the next host, she said.

She said the summit will take place on the same dates – October 9-11.

‘Growing bigger’

UNDP Resident Representative for Rwanda, Stephen Rodriques, said YouthConnekt was growing “bigger”.

“Nationally, we are going bigger with more partners. A range of new partners have joined, including KOICA, Liquid Telecom, Imbuto Foundation, UNFPA, and so on,” he said in reference to growing support for the national-level YouthConnect editions as well as the continental version of the summit.

“We are also expanding our job creation programme. In the past few years, the programme has generated over 8,300 jobs. We have a target in the next four years, to get to a minimum of 20,000 jobs,” he added. UNDP is among the main sponsors of the annual forum.

At the briefing, youth ministers from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mauritania shared their experience on the summit.

Mbabazi also talked about the two awards that YouthConnekt Africa received this week.

The first is the AGFUND Prize, accompanied by US$200,000, which she said will be used to increase youth projects presented during the annual summit.

It was received by the Ambassador of Rwanda in Geneva, Switzerland on October 9. The award received is specified for projects implemented by the Government, public institutions and social enterprises.

The second award is Future Policy Award 2019, received by the Speaker of the Parliament Friday, in Serbia.

This award is given by the World Future Council, to inspire laws and policies designed to empowering young people to build a fair and sustainable future.

This was the third time the summit was taking place since it first became continental in 2017.

Source: The New Times

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