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African Economic Conference 2019

The 2019 African Economic Conference (AEC), jointly organized by African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Programme, will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 2nd to 4th December.

The theme of the conference, “Jobs, Entrepreneurship and Capacity Development for African Youths” is perfectly aligned to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 8 on “inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all”.

In addition, it dovetails well with the aspirations of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in which “youth unemployment will be eliminated, and Africa’s youth guaranteed full access to education, training, skills and technology, health services, jobs and economic opportunities (…)”. As path breakers of the African knowledge society, youth will contribute significantly to innovation and entrepreneurship on the continent provided that all the necessary resources are mobilized to allow them to realize their full potential.

This year’s theme also fits into the agenda of the AEC partners –African Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme and the Economic Commission for Africa. These institutions recognize that a skillful, productive, innovative and entrepreneurial youthful population, adequately prepared for current and future challenges of an increasingly dynamic labor market, can be a catalyst to addressing youth unemployment and contributing to inclusive and sustained economic growth.

The Conference seeks to bring together youth representatives, researchers, policy makers, and development practitioners from Africa and from around the world to discuss recent developments on the issues of jobs for youth, skills and entrepreneurship in Africa. The Conference will provide a unique opportunity to assess the effectiveness of ongoing reforms on addressing youth skills gap in Africa and developing their entrepreneurial capacities.

In addition, the Conference will discuss the latest evidence and emerging challenges on youth jobs, skills and entrepreneurship in Africa to inform country strategies and identify evidence-based innovative and implementable policies. It will finally encompass in-depth presentations of policy-oriented research by both established academics and young talented researchers from the continent who will debate and recommend policy options on how to address the persistent mismatches between labor market requirements and skills acquired by Africa’s young people.