This month we were honoured to be invited to be a part of the YALDA Pre-iBoot Camp Summit, held virtually this year for young people across the African continent. The focus this year for the Summit was on the AfCFTA (the African Continental Free Trade Area). The AfCFTA paves way for the establishment of a continent-wide free trade area whose main objectives are to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of businesspersons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of a continental customs union. The operationalization of the AfCFTA during and post-COVID-19 is therefore a call to action to resuscitate ailing economies in Africa by increasing the level of intra-African trade and greater collaboration to drive economic growth. With intra-regional trade accounting for 17% of Africa’s exports compared to 59% in Asia and 69% in Europe, there is significant opportunity for young people to participate and lead the way for further economic integration in Africa.
Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa is a non-profit international organization that provides a forum for youth on the African continent and those abroad with a commitment to the welfare of Africa.
With this backdrop, YALDA and its partners hosted a virtual youth summit entitled, ‘Beyond COVID-19: Leveraging the Benefits of the AfCFTA to Spur Africa’s Growth’. The purpose of this virtual summit was to bring young people, industry leaders and entrepreneurs together in a series of webinars, workshops and online interviews creating a knowledge sharing platform. The aim was to enable and facilitate participants to share strategies around how young people can overcome the impact of COVID-19 and revitalise Africa’s growth. Additionally, this virtual summit sought to educate young people on the AfCFTA and how to leverage it in order to thrive in this ‘new normal.’
YALDA seeks to play its part in ensuring that efforts are undertaken to resolve information asymmetries that result from the lack of knowledge transfer about how this agreement will work, impact the youth and how they may potentially benefit from it in the long-term.
ADMF was featured in a panel titled ‘Innovative funding measures for your business during the pandemic and beyond’. The conversation revolved around ways to diversify fundraising and revenue generation during these unique and uncertain times. Our Head of Foundation, Claire Baker, was featured alongside moderator Chuks Okoriekwe, YALDA Nigeria President, Stephen Karingi, Director of Regional Integration & Trade Division, UNECA, Leticia Browne, Co-Director of Intelligent Capital, and Mr Lanre Oloniniyi, Co-Founder of Orbitt Capital.
You can learn more about YALDA and find some recordings from the summit here.