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AFPC leads conversation on policy reform, infrastructure, trade in Africa

Sunday Dare

A nonprofit organisation, Africa Policy Conversations (AFPC), has taken the lead to facilitate conversations across countries in Africa to drive viable and significant policy reforms, infrastructure improvements, and trade facilitation measures for the continent to realise its full potential.

The programme served as a platform for constructive engagement between African youth across the continent, leading African decision-makers, and corporate executives, among others.

AFPC hosted the event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, at the Nigerian Mission in New York, United States.

Speaking at the event with the theme of “Leveraging the Power of the African Youth (As a viable solution for realising the potential of the continent)”, Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Akin Dare, addressing the topic “The future of African youth and globalisation”, emphasised a number of initiatives that were launched under his administration to support the socioeconomic development of African youth.

He also mentioned several cutting-edge initiatives that are being put in place for the youth in Nigeria. They include an immediate empowerment scheme for Nigerian university graduates who can provide a good and convincing business model, the establishment of a Youth Bank where any successful applicant can make a pitch and get a loan to support his business.

The Convener and Co-founder of AFPC, Barr. Chinenye Uwanaka, emphasised the need for Africans in the diaspora, to collaborate with those on the continent to strengthen the policy making and governance process.

She said: “Change is hard and no one can do it alone. We need to ensure that the diaspora remittances that flow into the continent is used judiciously to boost infrastructure, innovation, trade and wealth creation in Africa. We don’t need to rely on foreign aid. Rather, we need to find local solutions to local problems facing us. No one is coming to save us. All the potential is in Africa and the youth need to step up courageously to harness our power and resources.”

The event which included four sessions, featured two fireside chats with the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment, and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, as well as two panel sessions, with the first discussing the topic “Infrastructure and Growth – Developing the Critical Infrastructure for Africa’s Growth”, and the second panel discussed the topic: “The New Economy: Realising the potentials of the Technology and Creative Economy”.

Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, stressed the importance of the African diaspora encouraging the transfer of knowledge and skills for mentoring, entrepreneurship development, and capacity-building programmes.

The first panel discussed the “US Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa,” and how public-private partnerships can sustain, develop and secure critical mineral resources that will supply clean energy technologies required to facilitate Africa’s role in the global energy transition, amongst other things.

The second panel emphasised the importance of embracing modern technological concepts in e-commerce, fashion, music, entertainment, and other creative industries throughout the continent.

Other speakers at the event include the Founder, of Chocolate City Group, and EVC Pixel Ray Studios, Audu Maikori; Founder, Ibom LLC and African Women in Tech (AWIT), Anie Akpe; Founder, and CEO, Adisa Consultants, and Co-founder, Okay Media, Abiola Oke; CEO Otitolabs, Bolatitok Akinroluyo; board member, US Africa Trade Council, Olusiji Aina and Principal, Crossboundary, Nneka Chime.

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