UNHabitat commits to Africa’s Youth
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN–Habitat) has moved to engage young people and lift them out of poverty.
The pledge was made by Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat, represented the agency at the inaugural YouthConnekt Africa Summit 2017 from July 19 – 21 held in Kigali, Rwanda.
Dr. Kacyira stressed the importance of partnerships, programmes and policy in addressing the urgent need to help youth to become problem-solvers and support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda. “Local governments and policy influencers must draw from these partnerships and projects to understand what institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks are required,” she added.
This summit provided an opportunity to shine a spotlight on The Innovate Counties Challenge Programme, housed in the Youth and Livelihood Unit at UN-Habitat. The Innovate Counties Challenge engages urban youth to identify problems and empowers them to develop innovative ICT solutions, such as developing a drone system to transfer insulin between hospitals or using ICTs to regulate public bus services in Kenya and increase revenue collection for bus owners and consequently local governments.
The summit, which was hosted by Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, brought together international government leaders, multinational business executives, youth entrepreneurs, artists and youth opinion leaders to tap into Africa’s enormous potential by connecting youth with the skills, education and opportunities they need to become “a new generation of problem solvers.”
More than 2,500 delegates from over 90 countries attended the summit to exchange ideas and explore ways to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) and strategic partnerships to unlock the potential of youth and connect them with the endless opportunities that Africa has to offer. The summit also featured the launch of the YouthConnekt Africa Hub and the YouthConnekt Africa Empowerment Fund.