World / East Africa
Friday, 30 Jun 2017 14:47 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
African Heads of State will converge in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa for the 29 Summit of the African Union on the 3rd and 4th of July.
The July Summit will be the second under the theme “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in the youth.” This theme is an attempt for heads of state to discuss aspects of what needs to be done to ensure that Africa prevents possible turmoil from lack of education and empowerment by its rapidly growing youth population. In January 2018, the African heads of states will convene again at the summit where they will be charting the path towards achieving these dividends through their investment in youth education (particularly girls’ education), employment and empowerment.
As part of our campaign for the realization of these dividends, ONE will be present at the Addis Summit to drum up support for the 51 million African girls, out of the 130 million girls that are denied education worldwide. Through our goodwill Ambassador, former Tanzania President, Jakaya Kikwete, we will seek to help transform the future of the entire continent through these three “E’s” (Education, Employment and Empowerment).
It is expected that President Kikwete will continue to influence his peers to make good their promise to invest in the three “E’s.” For in his words: “Unless we invest in education, we would not talk about demographic dividend but demographic liability”.
If leaders agree to increase investment in education, employment and empowerment, they would have made sure every girl gets the chance to go to school, learn, and gain the knowledge and skills needed to lift herself, her family, and her community out of poverty.
If African leaders invest with ambition, urgency and efficiency between 2017 and 2020, the continent’s youth can drive a surge in inclusive growth that will benefit the world as a whole. If they do not, the world might witness a colossal socially destabilizing effect of nations driven by a massive hopeless and disenfranchised youth population, with severe consequences for continental and global security.
As Nachilala Nkombo, the interim Africa Executive Director for ONE said: “If the 51 million African girls out of school stay out of school, Africa will definitely miss the full potential of harnessing its demographic dividend. ONE has therefore joined a global movement of influencers that are bringing attention to the urgent problem of girls’ education. We want more people to add their voices to ask African governments to provide leadership on this issue as a core strategy in reaping benefits from Africa’s youth boom.”
While in Addis, President Kikwete, will be available for media interviews.