Feature - December 14, 2022

Day Commissioner Muchanga launched Afrikan Youth Business Council (AfYBC)

The African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals (ETTIM), Amb. Albert Muchanga, on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 2022 YouLead Africa Summit, launched the Afrikan Youth Business Council (AfYBC), a continental apex body for youth-led private sector entities advocating for a youth-friendly business policy environment in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) era.


Dignitaries, youth entrepreneurs and youth leaders during the lauch of the African Youth Business Council (AfYBC). Photo: YouLead Secreteriat


“I would like to officially close the Africa Under 40 Business Leaders Forum at YouLead Summit 2022, and declare the Afrikan Youth Business Council officially launched!” said the AU chief in a statement read on his behalf by  Mr Charles Chiza Chiumya, Ag. director in charge of entrepreneurship at the AU Commission.

Muchanga was keynote speaker at the all-day Africa Under 40 Business Leaders Forum of 2022 YouLead summit themed: “Making the AfCFTA Promises to African Youth and Women a Reality”.

The five-day summit, which is currently underway at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, is being attended by hundreds of youth entrepreneurs and youth leaders from across Africa; it is being hosted by the YouLead Secretariat, in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the East African Business Council (EABC), and the Independent Continental Youth Advisory Council on AfCFTA (ICOYACA).

“Today, you will also be launching the Afrikan Youth Business Council – A continental apex body for youth-led private sector entities, institutions and associations in Africa, advocating for a youth-friendly business policy environment, aimed at making AfCFTA Promises to African youth a reality. I understand and acknowledge the challenging macroeconomic environment that Africa and the world finds itself in at the moment,” the commissioner told the youth delegates.

Nonetheless, Muchanga urged young African entrepreneurs to continually innovate and explore new ways of doing things to stay ahead of their competitors by using innovation to their advantage and leveraging partnerships with one another to create smart solutions that would solve the continent’s most pressing development challenges.

“This should be the ultimate goal of the Afrikan Youth Business Council.  Secondly, the Afrikan Youth Business Council can provide an opportunity for collaboration and value-chain development. An agricultural startup in Nigeria can easily collaborate with a peer company in Kenya, while a medical supplies startup in Egypt could easily source raw materials and natural extracts from the DRC, or Guinea. This is the kind of real-life collaboration we hope to see,” concluded the top AU diplomat.

While performing the launch rites on behalf of Commissioner Muchanga, Mr Charles Chiza Chiumya, Ag. Director in charge of entrepreneurship at the AU Commission, expressed his delight at seeing African youth entrepreneurs establishing a business council dedicated to uplifting youth entrepreneurship, which he said would bridge the gap of lack of youth voices among business associations in Africa.

“What AfYBC has done is close a big gap that we have had in the continent whereby, although we have many business organizations, the youths don’t have a voice. I believe the Afrikan Youth Business Council will bring the voice of the youth to the table. Youths are at the cutting edge of the current digitalization and diversification efforts, hence we need to hear more from youth entrepreneurs, so we are really delighted that AfYBC has been launched. We will collaborate with the Council on youth in business issues,” Mr Chiumya assured.

In her response, Leah Nduati, AfYBC’s interim president, expressed the newly launched continental youth business council’s commitment to make Africa’s young people active players in intra-African trade so as to make the AfCFTA work for youth-led businesses. “We have launched our membership drive for youth-led businesses owned by both male and female Africans and will commence operations from January. We are ready to make Africa proud with the support of the AU.”

Ms Nduati said the establishment of the AfYBC was due to the realization that although the African private sector was positioned to drive the AfCFTA’s implementation, most of the continent’s apex business bodies, namely business councils, chambers of commerce and manufacturers; associations, lack functional youth arms. This, she said, puts the continent’s vast population of youth entrepreneurs at a huge disadvantage and risks their being sidelined in the Agreement’s implementation.

The Afrikan Youth Business Council’s mission is to become the leading youth-led continental private sector organization advocating youth-friendly economic and trade policies, promoting fair trade, fair competition and connectivity for youth-led enterprises. To this end, the Council seeks to leverage the entrepreneurial ingenuity of Africa’s youth to drive cross-border trade in goods and services and make youth crucial contributors to the continent’s socioeconomic transformation.


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