Harare, 20 March 2018 --- Youth unemployment in Africa will come under focus during the Fifth Africa Think Tank Summit organized by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) from 5 to 7 April in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. The Summit which hopes to attract 200 participants from within and outside Africa is expected to propose strategies and recommendations as well as share experiences on the role of think tanks in tackling youth unemployment on the continent. High unemployment remains a major development challenge for Africa where unemployment rate can reach up to 50 percent in some countries. For the continent as a whole, this rate stood at 8 percent in 2016-2017, which, when applied to a rapidly growing labor force, is an increase in total unemployment of 1.2 million from 2016 to 2017. It is against this background that ACBF and partners have chosen to focus the theme of the Fifth Africa Think Tank Summit on “Tackling Africa’s Youth Unemployment Challenge: Innovative Solutions from the Think Tanks”.
Delegates will discuss the role that effective leadership can play in addressing the challenge, share experiences on how to develop the requisite private sector that can create jobs for the youths and reflect on how to build the critical technical skills necessary for sustainable youth employment opportunities. They will equally be expected to offer practical solutions for youth employment on the continent through the sharing of innovations and good practices, including entrepreneurship in key sectors such as agriculture, finance and ICT. At the end of the three-day event, ACBF hopes to enhance the commitment of think tanks to proactively support the successful implementation of Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030, with special attention on job creation.
ACBF is organizing the event together with the Government of Ghana and the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), the country’s leading think tank. Other partners include the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC), the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Think Tank Initiative, the Alliance for African Partnerships (AAP), the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (RENAPRI), and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
One of the highlights of this year’s Summit is the launch of a book titled ‘Creation, Management and Sustainability of Think Tanks in Africa,’ a reference resource on effective creation, management, and sustainability of impactful think tanks in Africa produced by ACBF.
The Summit will offer participants a platform for networking through exchange of ideas, knowledge and relevant experiences and good practices on what needs to be done to effectively and sustainably tackle youth unemployment in Africa. It will also be an opportunity for think tanks to engage policymakers, the private sector and non-state actors.
Leaders of the various pan-African institutions including ACBF, AUC, AfDB, UNECA as well as top Ghanaian government officials, policy makers from across Africa, private sector captains and leading academics from the continent and beyond are lined up to speak and provide their practical insights during the Summit. Since its inception in 1991, ACBF has created and supported over 41 think tanks across Africa. Through these institutions, it has strengthened the formulation and implementation of strategic national policies aimed at promoting economic prosperity, political stability, and social justice for all Africans.
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ABOUT the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
Having spearheaded and robustly coordinated capacity development programs worth over 700 million US dollars across 45 countries and 8 regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa since 1991, ACBF has gathered the requisite experience that makes it the go-to institution for expert knowledge and human resources to advise and support African countries, regional economic communities and institutions on decisive steps to take to develop the practical skills urgently required for the continent’s economic transformation.
Evidence from our cutting-edge work (constituting hundreds of knowledge publications) and the work of several partners show that Africa's development efforts are being hobbled by severe capacity deficits often in the form of shortage of critical skills, deficits in leadership, inhibiting mindsets and weak institutions. The continent’s practical skills shortage is acute in key areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Agriculture.
At ACBF, we will continue using our unmatched track record in managing financial facilities for development, our vast knowledge gathering experience thanks to the exceptional skills mix of our core staff as well as our strong strategic partnerships and networks to help countries and institutions identify their capacity needs, advise them on how to plug these capacity weaknesses and on where to find the knowledge and resources to develop the requisite capacity resources, effectively use them and retain them to achieve their short and long-term development objectives.
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