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Building Human Capital in Africa: The Future of a Generation

April 11, 2019

Preston Auditorium, World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC

This Event has Concluded.

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Young people are the drivers of Africa’s economy and future. With eleven million youth expected to enter Africa’s labor market every year for the next decade, now is the time for urgent action to build and nurture the region’s human capital. 

The event focused on the future of Africa’s youth through the lens of inspirational youth leaders, policy makers, and civil society to collectively highlight the challenges, aspirations, and actions taken to help build the human capital of the next generation.

It kicked off with a presentation of the “The Future is Me” video showcasing Africa’s youth and the future of the continent, followed by World Bank Vice President for Africa Hafez Ghanem’s announcement of the launch of the ambitious Human Capital Plan for Africa. His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho in the keynote address stressed why investments in human capital are essential for long term, sustainable economic growth, and urged everyone to step up to the mark.

Voices of youth were then highlighted through #Blog4Dev’s winner Sandrine Bwiza speaking on behalf of the 10 winners from 43 African countries, focusing on closing the digital divide. Sudanese spoken-word poet Emi Mahmoud moved the audience to tears with her poetry inspired by her life experience with conflict and violence.

Policymakers from four African countries then exchanged their own country experiences on how to better invest in girls through health and education, reinforce promises with resources, and use technology to help build a workforce for the future.

Global Citizen shared a highly successful campaign to improve access to sanitary products for girls in South Africa and highlighted Global Citizen Youth Prize Winner Wawira Njiru’s work to ensure that children can access nutritious food in school.  And 11-year old DJ Switch through a passionate closing video appearance called on the continent to invest in people.

Learn more:

Video: The Future is Me

Video: DJ Switch’s Call to Invest In People

Human Capital Plan for Africa: Powering Africa’s Potential Through its People

#Blog4Dev: Africa’s Blog Competition

Website: Human Capital Project

Speakers

King of the Kingdom of Lesotho

Spoken-word poet and UNHCR Goodwill ambassador

Minister of ICT, Rwanda

Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the President of Kenya

Governor for the Reserve Bank of Malawi

Vice President, Africa

Musician, Poet, Dancer, Motivational Speaker, Actress

Wawira Njiru 

Founder of Food 4 Education