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We want Youth Connect Endorsed By All African Countries – Rwanda’s Youth Minister Says

3 Min Read

The Youth Connekt Africa, an African home-grown solution positioned to provide relevant solutions for the continent’s young entrepreneurs is only preset in 30 countries on the continent yet the initiative is for all the youth on the continent.

Rosemary Mbabazi, the Minister of Youth, says the initiative should be adapted by all 55 countries with states having strong country chapters.

“We want to see Youth Connekt Africa growing with strong country chapters,” she said during the Youth Connekt Africa summit.

“We are looking to have satellites regional hubs opening in different countries but also seeing the programs endorsed, implemented with ministries and institutionalized,” she further said.

Meanwhile, young entrepreneurs who were supported by Youth Connekt Africa say the program helped their businesses progress and develop.

Ange Mukagahima, the founder of ZIMA Medical Group, a start-up that seeks to improve nutrition using local foods, is among the beneficiaries who accessed the Youth Connect Empowerment Fund worth Rwf6 million (US$6,000) cash prizes during the Youth Connect, in 2017.

She says the start-up capital made her businesses grow at a critical moment.

“I was still a student without capital, but after getting rewarded with cash I started buying machines for my business. As a young entrepreneur, Youth Connekt Africa has become a good ground for us to boost businesses forward,” she said.

This year over 10,000 youths are expected to participat in the event.

Inspired by the African Union’s theme of the year, this year’s summit focused on “building the resilience of young people on the African continent to accelerate human capital and socio-economic development.”

The Youth Connekt Africa Summit is an annual event that connects youth from across the continent and beyond with policy influencers, political leaders, and public, private and private sector institutions to engage, discuss, design and accelerate youth empowerment efforts at the continental level.

Youth Connect Empowerment Fund is designed to increase direct funding available for youth-led ventures on the continent.

This year’s edition will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from October 13-15.