The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the situation of African youth, who were already facing economic fragility due to unemployment, under education and a lack of access to finance.
By 2050, Africa’s young population will grow to a staggering 850 million from an estimated 450 million in 2020. Prior to the crisis, the continent’s economic growth had not created enough jobs, leaving 83% of the 18 million youth that enter the job market in Sub-Saharan Africa every year jobless, leaving them behind.
Harnessing the entrepreneurial potential of Africa’s youth as a powerful engine and demographic dividend holds great potential for sustainable development. However, access to appropriate financing mechanisms and capacity building facilities is lacking.
For Africa to recover from the sanitary crisis and to build back better, it is vital to trigger a paradigm change so that youth innovation and entrepreneurship are not left behind otherwise the continent might be facing a “wall of demography”.
In an effort to address these constraints, the Bank is developing a proposal to establish Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks.
The virtual high-level roundtable will bring together African and non-African actors interested in the issues of youth entrepreneurship, SME development and fixing the issue of social and economic insecurity leading to illegal migration, terrorism, and political instability.
Participants will have a strategic discussion on the Bank’s early stage proposal for Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks, with a focus on its rationale and resource requirements.