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Africa’s Youth Discuss the Urgency and Action Needed To Realize the Sustainable Development Goals

Published December 19th, 2021 - 07:49 GMT


Young people from around the continent will come together for an ECA virtual event on the theme of “Africa’s Youth in The Decade of Action: Actors or Bystanders” on 20 December 2021 at 12.00–13.30 UTC / 15.00–16.30 EAT.

This event will be an opportunity for Africa’s youth to engage with their leaders to renew their commitment to the 2030 Agenda and to advocate for urgency, ambition, and action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.

The population of Africa is the world’s youngest, with a median age of just 19.7 years. Its young people will steer the continent’s trajectory in the twenty-first century – their success or failure will also be that of the continent as a whole.

On 25 September 2015, the world came together in a historic moment to commit to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In its resolution adopting the Sustainable Development Goals, the General Assembly declared that “the future of humanity and of our planet lies in our hands. It lies also in the hands of today’s younger generation who will pass the torch to future generations”.

This event provides African youth with a virtual hub to mobilize, reflect on their needs and aspirations, and establish coalitions for positive change through the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ECA, who will deliver the welcome address, says: “We have to create capacity for our young people to become leaders in governments and civil society and captains of industry themselves. They are the agents of change not just for the future but right now.” 

Deputy Minister of Information, Communications and Technology of the Republic of Namibia, The Hon. Emma Theofelus, one of Africa's youngest public-sector leaders, is passionate about ensuring young voices are heard. She says: “When opportunities are presented to young people, we grab them and get it right. Young women and men are already working in their respective communities, countries, and regions, in various platforms towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Hon. Theofelus will be joined on a panel discussion by the founder of The Africa I Know and Princeton Assistant Professor Adji Bousso Dieng; the Managing Director of Lion Tutoring, Mr. Thobo Khathola; and the Executive Director of LOYOC Cameroon, Mr. Achaleke Christian Leke.

Award-winning climate and environmental activist Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti will deliver a keynote speech. Ms Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, will offer some closing remarks.

Follow event livestream on ECA’s YouTube channel: 

More information:


Source: Al Bawaba (

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