According to the Africa Development Bank President, Akinwunmi Adesina“Africa must stop being a museum of poverty. Its people are determined to reverse this trend. The future of young Africans is not in Europe, their destiny is not to end their lives in the Mediterranean Sea”.
It is against this background that Ishmael Yamson & Associates have instituted the annual Business Roundtable with the empowerment of African youth as a core aim.
Every year since 2014 Ishmael Yamson & Associates has hosted a Business Roundtable and it is our greatest honour to invite you to be present at the 2021 edition themed “Youth-Driven and Youth-Centred Development – Africa’s Future” on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
The 2021 Business Roundtable will provide a platform for executives, policy makers, millennials, and other key stakeholders to;
- discuss and create an understanding of the current and emerging issues facing the economy of Africa and businesses operating on the continent and how they impact their individual countries,
- identify the potential and opportunities available to drive national and enterprise level growth and overall prosperity across Africa, and
- explore how Africa can better invest in and empower young African minds and talent to take advantage of the emerging 4th Industrial Revolution for rapid development.
Africa is in a crisis and the nature of the challenges it faces require a new kind of response.
Though there is momentum across the entire region for the inclusion of young people in a fairer socio-economic framework that supports and promotes (a) the rights of young people to access economic opportunities, (b) their role in economic decision-making and (c) structures that create room for the innovations and business ideas of young people to thrive in a growing economy, the continent still suffers from a leadership deficit compounded over some sixty years of its post-colonial history. In that time, the continent also accumulated a massive build-up of deficiencies in infrastructure, in technology, public sector systems, market access, productivity in both the public and private sectors, and opportunities for the growth and development of African enterprise and African citizens.
Without a doubt, African enterprises in financial services, power and tourism have done very well in pockets such as Nigeria, Egypt, Southern and Eastern Africa and in a majority of African countries also, the telecom sector has proven to be a catalyst in economic development that benefits the youth. But this is not enough.
Africa is exporting its future in droves.
Sadly, Africa has been and is losing its young people – both unskilled and professionals, who year after year, are willing to undertake the perilous journey to greener pastures in their thousands in the developed economies of Asia, Europe and North America in search of the ‘better life’. The global community is as much frustrated with the lack of resolutions to the problems of Africa, as it is indignant about the migration of young Africans. What drives this exodus is the uncertainty of their future if they stay in Africa and the guarantee of poverty if they do not move. The future of the continent’s economy and Africa’s place in the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution are both at stake.
The need for new thinking, new ideas and innovation has seldom been greater.
The youth are the current and future workforce of the Region, yet accounts for 60 percent of all the unemployed Africans. About 11 million young people are expected to enter a formal labour market starved of employment opportunities, join family-run firms or start running their own informal enterprises each year for the next decade. While there has been growth in formal sector jobs in some countries, most young people are likely to find secure employment. To transform their economies in today’s borderless global economy and talent market, African countries will require knowledge-driven institutions and the untapped advantage of well-educated and trained youth who represent Africa’s vast potential to become the originator of innovation and disruptive change.
The African Union, through its African Youth Charter, signed in 2006 in Banjul, the Gambia, enshrined the rights, duties, and freedoms of African youth to ensure the constructive involvement of youth in the development agenda of Africa and their effective participation in decision-making processes towards the development of the continent.
Young people must take centre-stage.
Africa’s youth will be the implementers of the agenda for economic transformation. Therefore they must set the direction and define what investments are required to drive African development over the next decade in new sustainable industrial development, improved economic productivity and the accelerated creation and equitable distribution of wealth. The current leaders of African states and major enterprises must extend credible invitations to the youth of Africa to participate actively in defining, reimagining solutions and implementing policy to resolve Africa’s most pressing challenges that will evenly deliver ground-breaking development and wealth across the continent.
We trust that your participation at BRT2021 will help stimulate the conversation on how to implement this agenda and look forward to your participation. We will be grateful if you share your perspective on what the theme means to you as an organisation in a maximum one-page write-up that we will use in the pre-event marketing campaign and the event brochure.
Click the banner below to join the event.