An estimated 2,500 delegates from 49 African countries are convening in Kigali for the 7th African Students and Youth summit that aims to discuss issues affecting the Africa and how to engage the youth to transform the continent.
The summit is an opportunity for young Africans to discuss and come up with solutions to some burning problems, officials said.
Among the challenges being discussed is unemployment. Young Africans have raised their voice and are pushing for networks among themselves to tackle unemployment.
The three-day summit is running under the theme “Pan-Africanism: A Paradigm Shift towards Achieving the SDGs and AU Agenda 2063: The Role of The Youth Counts.”
Officiating at the opening ceremony of the summit on Wednesday, the Minister for Education, Dr Eugene Mutimura, said that various experts have been invited to inspire and advise young Africans on how to be involved in finding the solutions to some challenges the African countries are facing.
“This is an opportunity for African youth to openly discuss challenges and how to address them. We believe that the summit will influence the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and African Union Agenda 2063,” he said.
According to Eustache Ndayisaba, the Coordinator of Rwanda National Students Association, the essential discussions will end with creating networks among the African youth to keep in touch, and share experiences to accelerate innovations.
“Among the participants, there are innovators with various projects already implemented. Five companies have been set up as a result of previous summits and we expect more after this year’s summit,” he said.
During the meeting, young innovators exhibit their products to inspire and learn from one another.
Barwaqo Ahmed, from African Leadership University in Somalia, said the summit opens the door for African youth to come together and discuss on how to be problem solvers.
She said that African states should support the young generation on how to be more innovative and creative.
Peter Mutinda Muia, from University of Nairobi, said that he had been impressed by local young entrepreneurs, and hoped to learn from them.
“This is the time when young Africans should speak with one voice. The progress we have seen on the continent shows that there is possibility to get far. Our nations should nurture our potential and provide us with more opportunities,” he added.