Chinwe Okoli’s Speech at the GAIN Youth Summit – READ
An address delivered on 30th October by Chinwe Okoli, The Executive Director of Grand Africa Initiative(GAIN) at the GAIN Youth Summit 2020 as reported by Topnews Tv.
Good day very distinguished Ladies and gentlemen
I am very delighted to welcome you all to GAIN YOUTH SUMMIT 2020
The Keynote Speaker, very eminent scholar, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo,
Our very distinguished LeadSpeakers, Panelists and Moderators from over 27 countries(I’d be mentioning your names specifically in the sessions as they come up)
Great Youths of Africa and Young people joining from all over the world
The Great Team working at Grand Africa Initiative.
Gentlemen of the Press
Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen
You are all specially and warmly welcome to the inaugural Grand Africa Initiative Summit, tagged GAIN YOUTH SUMMIT 2020
This is a very auspicious and unique day. Today, the youths of Africa come together under the umbrella of Grand Africa Initiative(GAIN) to engage with key stakeholders who play major roles in advancing our collective future.
For this summit, we haveyoung people from across the African continent and various parts of the world.As at the last count, we have registered participants from …countries.
This signifies unity of purpose. The youth are willing to come together to CONNECT, DICOVER AND GROW our future, and the future of our countries and continent.
Why are we here today? Grand Africa Initiative(GAIN) has convened usall to Connect and Engage for youth empowerment and development.
Grand Africa Initiative (GAIN) is a Pan-African organization on a mission to help African youth, develop and unleash their potentials, unique ideas, talents and abilities to succeed in education, employment, entrepreneurship, and innovation through our uniqueGather, Empower,Mentor and Monitor strategy.
Our goal is, sustainable development, through igniting the positive energy of the greater segment of Africa’s population – the youth. Imagine a prosperous and developed continent, driven by committed, capable, entrepreneurial and innovative young men and women” That would be a “Grand Africa”the reason for the Initiative. This vision, ladies and gentlemen,will potentially result in a drastic reduction in poverty rates, inequality gap, illegal migration crises, violence, and insecurity; and give rise to a safer, more economically empowered and developed Africa. The Africa we desire!
Why this summit and the theme?
One of our key pillars at GAIN, is youth employment. African Development Bank’s statistics as at 2016 showed that of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged 15-35, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, another third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six is in wage employment. Please note that 10 to 12 million youth enter the workforce each year, unfortunately,only 3.1 million jobs are created, leaving vast numbers of youth unemployed”If we project this figure to the current period, this gap becomes quite alarming!. Recent events such as the impact of covid 19 pandemic and crises in various parts of Africa like the ongoing crises in Nigeria all revolve around the youth and youth unemployment.
High unemployment rate has dire consequences, from East to West, North to South and Central Africa, the impact is the same: restiveness, insecurity, violence, intimidation, backwardness, hopelessness, crises and more crises.
These, I believe are not really what young Africans wish for.
This reality makes this summit crucial and timely. It is not only about raising the issues, lamenting and complaining. No! It is also about seeking solutions!To achieve this, there is need for engagement which will lead to education, interaction, seeking answers to issues of concern, dialogue and proffering solutions to the myriads of challenges we face.
There wasa prediction by ADB that by 2025, 263 million young people willlack economic stake in the system. Do you want that to happen? This is asituation we do not want, however, it cannot be wished away! What can we do to reverse this trend? How do we proceed to ensure this prediction does not happen eventually? What actions can the stakeholders take to nip this in the bud? How do we combat these challenges?We need Engagementwith relevant stakeholders, we need to seat around the table and design concretesolutions of great impact, we need to be part of the discussion for the future because we, the youth are the future of this continent.This is the rationale for the GAIN Youth Summit 2020.
To help deepen this enagagement, we have carefully selected leaders and experts fromprivate and public sectors, development institutions/agencies, youth organisations, start-upsand business leaders who will not only discuss the depth of the crises of unemploymentbut also discuss options and opportunities for students, job seekers and job creators, businesses. We would discover where the opportunities are, what the stakeholders are doing and what more needs to be done to save our continent and our future.
It is expected that the outcome of this summit will lead to more openings and opportunities for the youth, On this note, I am delighted to announce that The Global Union President has offered Free consultion toover 78 Young Africans for the next 3 years. More details would be communicated to you.
At the end of the summit, we would share the resolutions with relevant institutions and agencies and further our engagement for the empowerment of the amazing youths of Africa.
To conclude, we all know that Africa is endowed with huge natural and human resources, I dare to say that the greatest asset and potential of Africa is her youthful population. Let’s Unleash that potential and conquer the world! Thank you.