Investments in industries is critical for the creation of gainful economic opportunities for Africa's youth. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/World Bank

Development experts, policymakers, researchers, members of the civil society, private sector and other stakeholders in development are convening in Brussels, Belgium from 7th to 8th June 2017 for this year’s European Development Days (EDD). Organised by the European Commission, EDD brings the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

In partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the German Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), AFIDEP has organised a lab debate as part of EDD 2017, which shall take place on 8th June in Tour & Taxis, Brussels.

The lab debate titled Investing in Africa’s Youth to Harness the Demographic Dividend, will be part of the theme cluster “investing in people and planet” under the topic “demography and development.”

AFIDEP’s Executive Director Dr. Eliya Zulu shall be part of the panel alongside the European Union (EU) Director for Central and Western Africa at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), Carla Montesi and the Head of the African Union (AU) Division for Health, Nutrition and Population, Dr. Margaret Agama-Anyetei. Other panelists are President of the Eastern and Southern African Region of the African Youth and Adolescent Network (AfriYAN), Tikhala Itaye and Tilman Nagel, Head of Section for Education, TVET and Labour Markets (GIZ), who will be the session host. Ute Lange from i3kommunikation will be the session moderator.

The debate seeks to bring to the fore the critical investments needed for African countries to harness the demographic dividend in the face of limited resources. Discussions will therefore provide an incisive outlook on the sequencing of these investments, when is the right time to make these investments, and the inclusion of young people in the continent’s transformation process.

The lab debate comes ahead of the 2017 AU Summit in July whose theme is Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth. The debate therefore sets the stage for a well-rounded conversation on the concrete investments needed in Africa’s youth and how to ensure these conversations translate into action in order for the continent to harness a demographic dividend.

Join the conversation on Twitter: #EDD17 #Shapethedebate

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