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Embrace the future with digitization — African youth urged 

By Beyonce Diamond Kpogli
Technology Embrace the future with digitization — African youth urged 
OCT 26, 2021 LISTEN

The UNDP Assistance Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Africa Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa has charged young people in Africa to embrace and fully take control of the new revolution 'Digitization'.

She made this statement at a youth dialogue on Saturday, 23rd October 2021 in Accra on the theme " Young People As Key Drivers: Building The Africa We Want Through Innovation and Digitization".

Ms. Ahunna Eziiakonwa, who took part in the 3 day annual summit 'Youth Connekt Africa 21' as one of the guest speakers said, digital tools and platforms are the keys to facilitating trade across borders of Africa and beyond.

"African youth are the future of this continent and the more investment we put in you the youth is a step in the right direction. African Continental Free trade area (AfCFTA), is a continental agreement to bring down barriers to intra- African trade so that it can lead to growth, economic and social transformation across Africa. In order to reap the full benefits of the AfCFTA, we must change the way we do business and promote the digital transformation of the continent."

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Due to Africa huge volumes of natural resources that are not yet contributing fully to development, she emphasised that AfCFTA is a vehicle for African to add value to their natural resources and improve the quality of goods and services through regional value chains.

"Small producers like the entrepreneurs producing Tiger Nuts would be able to expand the market for their products beyond their borders and have easier access to ideas and technologies available across Africa."

She urged African countries to ensure that AfCFTA is not just another agreement, instead, it can be leveraged to benefit the whole continent.

In Ghana, UNDP has supported 42 young innovators, who are transforming their space and creating jobs through seed funding of about 500,000 US dollars.

Consequently, she launched the Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholarship which is in partnership with the Thunderbird School of Global Management give the opportunity to benefit from a Global Entrepreneurship & Innovation Virtual Bootcamp.

This program equips students to realize their entrepreneurial dreams and elevate their careers as innovators in this global community.

Ms Ahuuna Eziakonwa seized the opportunity and apply for the scholarship to either nurture or improve on their innovative ideas and skills.

In a welcome address by the Rector of GIJ Prof. Kwemena Kwansah-Aidoo delivered by Dean Faculty of Integrated Communication Sciences, Dr Modestus Fosu said AfCFTA can not be fully accomplished if young people are not involved in discussions that must create a worthwhile living for people in this digital continuum.

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