Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Kigali in Rwanda

Jul 21, 2017

The inaugural Youth Connekt Africa Summit took place at the Kigali Convention Center in Rwanda, from the 19th – 21st July 2017.  It was hosted by H.E President Paul Kagame and organized in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD).
The summit was a gathering of young minds to discuss the multifaceted problems faced by the continent and present solutions that are sustainable in their scope. The summit brought together a range of social entrepreneurship success stories which emphasized the value of nurturing a pan African system of collaborative partnerships amongst each other. “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together”, these were sentiments shared by H.E Paul Kagame who further emphasized the importance of unity, accountability and thinking big in Africa.
The delegates from Botswana Masego Mpebe, MorenaMonganja, Wada Busani, Sesame Omphile Mogotsi were presented with many learning opportunities including the opportunity to interact with other young African innovators who are using groundbreaking technologies to solve the problems they face in their communities.
The Summit made several commitments to continue assisting the youth. Notably the establishment of the African Entrepreneurship Fund.
Jack Ma (Chairman of Alibaba Group) announced numerous commitments for African youth, committing his company to the following:
- 200 young African entrepreneurs will go and study e-commerce, Artificial Intelligence and more at his company, Alibaba Group in China
- Alibaba will work with African universities and governments to facilitate training on the use of IT and entrepreneurship
- Have an Environmental protection Prize (which will be an annual prize)
- Alibaba Group will invest 10 million USD into the African Entrepreneurship fund
Akon, a Senegalese born music superstar, whose Africa Light Project focuses on provision of electricity also made a commitment to launch a platform that will help young African entrepreneurs in the Agriculture space.
Reflecting on the submit the Botswana delegate stated “Overall, the energy at the summit revealed a growing sense of hope for the future and most importantly, a new level of focus and drive from the youth of today. Collectively, we decided to not only go far but go fast. We are committed to aiming higher, collaborating more and are passionate about building a better Africa for our children. Thank you to the UNDP Botswana and Global for inviting us to this incredible event.”
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