The second African Youth SDGs Summit kicks off at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) on Wednesday, November 7 and ends on Friday, November 9, and is expected to attract 1,000 young participants across the continent and beyond.
The African Youth SDGs Summit is a continental annual gathering of African Youth to mobilise and inspire active participation of the youth in the implementation of the SDGs in Africa.
Launched in 2017 in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), this year’s summit is jointly being co-hosted by the 2030 Youth Alliance and UNFPA under the auspices of the Ministry of Planning, SDGs Advisory Unit of the Office of the President, UNDP, and UNICEF among other international and national organisations.
Kodjo Esseim Mensah Abrampa, Senior Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Planning who represented the Minister, Professor Gyan Baffour, observed that the continent’s youth bulge can both be advantageous if nations invest in its youth, or a liability if neglected.
Esseim Mensah Abrampa said the summit will discuss sustainable development, and considering the demography of the continent today, achieving the SDGs cannot be realized without the active involvement of the youth.
He announced that President Nana Akufo-Addo will grace the two-day summit to be hosted in Accra since he is the Co-Chair of the SDGs Eminent Group of Advocates, and said other high-level speakers include the Minister for Planning Professor George Gyan Baffour, UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Director, Mabingue Ngom, the UN resident Coordinator to Ghana, UN Women Southern and Eastern Africa Regional Director, Members of Parliament among others.
Mr. Mensah Abrampa said that through the plenary sessions, workshops and different partner side events, the summit should close with two key outcomes: a political declaration highlighting some key actions and demands by young people at the summit and; an SDG Youth Partnership Agenda which will further be developed a team of experts on how to meaningfully partner the youth to implement the Agenda 2030.
The UNFPA Country Representative, Niyi Ojuolape for his part, said Ghanaians have a duty to support President Nana Akufo-Addo in his role as the Co-Chair of the SDGs Eminent Advocates and that out of the 169 targets of the 17 SDGs, a third concern the youth and since around 70 percent of Africa’s population is young, no intervention without youth involvement will succeed.
UNDP Economic Analyst, Sefakor Senu challenged the youth to take advantage of digital technology to come out with innovative solutions in helping achieve the SDGs.
Emmanuel Ametepey, representing Youth Advocates, a non-governmental organization based in Nsawam in the Eastern Region, recalled the first summit in 2017 which saw over 420 delegates from 25 countries attend and added that this year’s summit has already received confirmation from 38 countries from Africa, Europe, Asia and America.