Empowered youths driving force behind emergent global Africa- A


Executive Vice-President, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank, Mrs Kanayo Awani, says empowering the youths will be the driving force behind the emergent global Africa.

Awanu said this at the ongoing 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2024) in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The meetings are being monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

She said the youths, creatives and innovation were three powerful catalysts of Africa’s successful economic development.

Awani said a common feature of the demographic structure of the African and Caribbean regions was the dominance of youths who represented 70 per cent of the combined population of the two regions estimated at 1.4 billion.

She said the youths, when well harnessed and empowered, hold the key to a shared aspiration of economic transformation.

“Their creativity and innovation can reshape our economies and drive us towards a prosperous future.

“At this significant juncture in our collective journey, we must recognise that we need an empowered youth, fed with sufficient capital, and given the right tools, education and training.

“Also, giving them unfettered access to affordable modern technology and capacity for innovation, enabling market access, will constitute the driving force behind the emergent global Africa.

“This emergent global Africa envisions a unified and prosperous Africa and the Caribbean leveraging our shared resources, talent and innovation for economic growth and development.”

Awani said it was the duty of policymakers and agents of development to create a conducive environment and install supporting systems for the youths. .

She said Afreximbank had continued to support African youths through several initiatives like the Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa.

“We renewed our partnership with the Grand Africa initiative as well, aiming to train 300 young entrepreneurs in intra African trade and entrepreneurship.

“ The bank’s SME development programme as well supports Small and Medium Scale businesses.”

Awani said Afreximbank, through its Creative African Nexus (CANEX) Programme, was supporting creative and cultural industries, which helped African and Caribbean brands to reach international markets.

She said yearly, the bank supported the Portugal and Paris fashion shows, which gave the designers in Africa and the Caribbean a platform to expose them to global brands.

NAN reports that the 31st AAM2024 is being held in Nassau, The Bahamas from June 12 to June 15.

It has the theme: “Owning our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa’’

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