A new podcast series produced by the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aims to connect young people with Africa’s thought leaders and influencers in the public and private sectors, while creating a virtual forum for unpacking key issues affecting young Africans on the continent and in the diaspora.
Within the framework of the African Union’s 1 million by 2021 initiative, the AU Youth Program and UNDP Africa through its Regional Programme, designed this podcast series to facilitate increased dialogue, engagement and advocacy with a wide range of stakeholders involved in youth development and empowerment.
Africa’s greatest development asset is its youth. The AU estimates that there are over 400 million people between the ages of 15-35 living in Africa. This growing youth population presents important opportunities, especially in the form of demographic dividend. However, for this potential to be fully realized, the importance of cultivating a new generation of innovators, problem solvers and technologically savvy youth, remains central to inclusive economic and social transformation as well as durable social cohesion and stability in the continent.
The podcast series, produced under the AU’s Young African Program on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (YAPIE), seeks to shed light on innovative youth-led solutions and how they can be harnessed towards achieving sustainable development in Africa. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 underscore the importance of empowering and developing young people in all their diversity.
At the current rate of growth, projections show that by 2030, the number of young people in Africa will increase by up to 42 percent. By 2050, young Africans are expected to form over a quarter of the world’s labour force. Therefore, tapping into the abundant entrepreneurial, creative, proactive and innovative spirit of youth remains key for the creation of productive opportunities, businesses and new ways to deliver services.
The podcast series serves as a platform to listen, learn and exchange ideas on how Africa can effectively accelerate youth empowerment and leverage Africa’s economic potential embodied in its youth. The series will seek to facilitate a mindset shift towards using setbacks and challenges as setups for new opportunities that place youth as drivers through which Africa’s potential can be harnessed with creativity, innovation, active participation, and competence.
Episode 1: How will startups in Africa succeed? Listen now
Episode 2: How can the AfCFTA benefit young African entrepreneurs? Listen now