More than 350 stakeholders are converging on Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, to participate in the 2019 African Economic Conference (AEC), with this year’s focus on jobs, skills and capacity development for Africa’s youth.
The three-day conference, from 2-4 December, brings together researchers, youth representatives, business leaders, policymakers and media representatives from Africa and around the globe – to hammer out policies and strategies for successful inclusive growth and job creation in the region.
The recommendations will guide commitments of partners – the African Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) – to investing in youth skills and entrepreneurial development for more inclusive African development.
Direct dialogue between African youths and stakeholders
What marks this 14th edition of the conference, will be direct dialogue between Africa’s youth and other stakeholders, including the private sector. For this to happen, more than 40 young people have been invited to debate the issues relating to their own future and voice their own solutions to job creation.
“We need all stakeholders and in particular, we need solid linkages with the private sector, as drivers of innovation, providers of essential capital, job creators and employers,” a 24-year-old Sudanese participant said.
Employment is the cornerstone of economic and social development. The route out of poverty for Africa’s youth is through employment within the framework of well-tailored vocational training. Job creation is thus a generator of economic transformation and inclusive growth.
“It is no surprise that youth employment is one of the highest development priorities. A concerted effort of government policies as well as a stout involvement of the Private sector are required to spark such changes,” said the African Development Bank’s Acting Vice-President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management and Chief Economist, Charles Lufumpa, who is leading the Bank’s delegation to the Conference.
The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Hilmar Schneider, Chief Executive Officer, the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), Germany; Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, makes the opening remarks.
Key Egypt government officials are attending the conference, including Tarek Amer, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt and Governor of the African Development Bank for Egypt and Tarek Shawky, Minister of Education of Egypt. The Executive Director of the African Development Bank for Egypt, Ahmed Zayed, is also in attendance.
General Khaled Houda, Governor of South Sinaï Province, as well as General Mahmoud Souleya, Mayor of Sharm El Sheikh City, are also participating in the official opening ceremony.
Other prominent participants include: Tsongo Billy Eraston Kambale, Minister of Youth of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Sunday Akin Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Nadia Arop Dudi, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Republic of South Sudan; Mpendulo Dlamini, Deputy Minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini; Peter S. Bemah, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Liberia and Irène H. Andriamaneho, Representative of the Minister of Madagascar.
Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Research and Analysis, is leading the UNDP delegation; while Adam Elhiraika, Director, Macroeconomics and Governance Division, represents the UNECA