News - August 16, 2023

Inaugural AfCFTA youth symposium holds August 21–23 in Lusaka

The secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), in collaboration with the Government of Zambia, is set to host the inaugural edition of the AfCFTA Youth Symposium come August 21–23 in Lusaka, Zambia, to discuss the potential benefits and challenges of AfCFTA for youth in trade and explore strategies for harnessing the full potential of AfCFTA for Africa’s youth.



The 3-day convening, which will be held under the theme “Igniting the Future for Youth in Trade”, will be attended by young entrepreneurs, business support organisations and policymakers, serving as a youth-centric platform for Africa’s young people to engage regulators, policymakers, development partners and financial institutions on the crucial role of young people in the AfCFTA.

Beyond that, the AfCFTA Secretariat says the symposium will explore the role of young people in the larger scheme of Africa’s economic development and the challenges hindering their meaningful contribution to such development, including participation in intra-African trade. The Symposium will especially explore ways of ensuring young people truly benefit from the opportunities offered by the AfCFTA.

Moreover, discussions at the symposium will contribute to the AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade currently being negotiated, which is in line with the commitment of the 13th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union to “broaden inclusiveness” in the implementation of the AfCFTA and the decision of the 35th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly to include the Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade in the AfCFTA.

Recall that the AU theme for 2023 is “Acceleration of the AfCFTA Implementation” hence the symposium offers strategies for transforming Africa’s demographic bulge into a dividend and truly harness the potential of Africa’s young people for the effective and meaningful implementation of the AfCFTA. The convening comes almost a year after the AfCFTA Conference on Women and Youth in Trade, held in September 2022 at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


You can register to participate here


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