Sharm El-Sheikh, 17 November, 2022 (ECA) - Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Hanan Morsy, highlights that harnessing the potential of Africa's growing youth population will be vital to shaping the continent's future whilst speaking at a COP27 event on Putting youth innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of Africa's low-carbon transition, In her opening remarks, the Deputy Executive Secretary noted, “ 70% of Africans are below 30, and by 2040 Africa is predicted to have the largest workforce in the world – surpassing China and India. We are here to ensure that we are utilizing this invaluable asset and how we can integrate them into solutions for climate action for a better tomorrow.”
Ms. Morsy also detailed some projects undertaken by the ECA to support youth innovation, research and entrepreneurship, including the Climate Research for Development Programme, which is endorsing 21 young researchers to enhance the quantity and quality of African research with grants between $100,000 to $200,000.
Erin Tansey, the Director of the Sustainable Inclusive Economies Division at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), explained the Centre "supports young women and men to be in the driver's seat of actions that affect their future. By engaging them in research, strengthening their advocacy efforts through evidence and helping to foster their engagement in key forums such as this one.”
The session included a panel discussion with young people from across the continent, sharing how they empower others and their innovative approaches toward a low-carbon transition.
Madina Hussein, Managing Director at Global Nature Conservation, shared her project Miticash, which focuses on agriculture, education and environmental conservation, “we have restored 10 hectares of land and created a hub where we enroll women, young people and indigenous communities to teach them about sustainable farming practices and other nature-based solutions to try and build climate resilience.”
Thelma Arko, a Research Fellow at the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa, shared her initiative, in partnership with the ECA. An online marketplace bringing together policymakers to engage in green policy solutions and investors to find new ventures for investment.
Young people expressed the need for support in areas such as access to finance for high capital costs, access to resources and tools to improve on technology, and for governments to create an enabling environment to support green projects and more platforms for peer-to-peer learning.
The event was organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA).
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