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Africa needs more youth engagement initiatives, says AfICTA

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By Emeka Aginam

One  major   challenge Africa   has, is not    giving the youths more opportunity to express their talents and innovation in governance. That partly may have resulted in very  low engagement of youths in problem solving among many African states.

AfricaHowever, as part of its vision to meet African youths’ employment challenges and assist government of the region in providing and creating jobs opportunities, Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance, AfICTA has disclosed that it is committed to creating one million jobs in Africa by the year 2020.

This was part of the declaration released at the end of its 3rd  summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa recently.

Recall that on 18th February 2009 in Addis Ababa, African heads of state declared 2009-2019 as the decade of youth development in Africa. They resolved to advance youth development and ensure increased investments in youth development programmes at national levels so as to create employment.

The Vice-Chair, Egyptian ICT Alliance & Chief Executive Officer ECCO Outsourcing Egypt and Chair AfICTA Programme/Project Committee, Mr Alaa El Khishen who articulated the initiative in his presentation during the summit said that “AfICTA is able to deliver on this commitment especially with support of traditional captive investors and relevant stakeholders that will be engaged.”

He said that tackling unemployment in Africa requires collective efforts of both the private and public sector.

According to him, Africa has the best talents in the world, but the challenge is to unplug low hanging technology fruits for global competitiveness.

Global competitiveness

Meanwhile, the summit among other declarations expressed support for the renewal of the Internet Governance Forum, IGF, mandate.

Considering the inherent value of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the summit also declared support for the goals and motivate the required national and international political will.

Given that citizens, users and diverse stakeholders views are important to public policy articulation and implementation with respect to the realization of the SDGs, participants from the forum also expressed support for enhanced cooperation within the context of multi-stakeholderism involving governments, private sector, civil society, and technical and academia community stakeholders.

Concerned about the need to sustain the rise of Africa, the forum further urged the African Union (AU) and African governments to partner with all stakeholders including the private sector in the spirit of enhanced cooperation and collaboration.

Lamenting the dearth of Internet domain name uptake in Africa, the summit among other things urged African governments to express pride in their ccTLD  identity and use them in governance to create the necessary “locomotive” effect to boost demand.

Concerned by cases of failed projects across Africa, the summit recommended the use of global standards, frameworks and methodologies to deliver projects that are “fit for purpose”.

Affirming that Internet access in particular engenders sustainable development and prosperity, the forum urged African national governments and parliaments in particular to enact laws, articulate strategies and policies that promote trust and confidence on the Internet.

Noting the need for national ICT associations and stakeholders to collaborate for better impact on national public policies, the participants at the summit urged delegates to look inwards, work with their contemporaries and stakeholders toward evolving vibrant national ICT advocacy alliance.


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