The African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification seeks to rally the continent to enhance efforts towards turning commitments into action on accelerating the pace of transforming from an import-heavy continent at a higher risk of external shocks, to an export-heavy and globally competitive continent. In so doing, Africa will make a substantial shift in reducing poverty, creating decent jobs for its population, particularly its women and youth, and increase the prospects for wealth creation.
Aligned to the goals of Africa’s development blueprint Agenda 2063 aimed at transforming Africa’s economies through beneficiation from natural resources, manufacturing, industrialization and value addition, as well as raising productivity and competitiveness and creating opportunities for Africa’s youth for self-realisation and access to jobs, the African Union has launched a Youth Essay Contest on Industrialization and Innovation that expands the platforms for co-creation of ideas and actions, for sustainable and inclusive development on the continent. The essay contest serves to open up dynamic conversations and spur reflection and action by leaders on addressing issues on Industrialisation from the perspective of young people and push for the much-needed reforms.
Read the terms of reference here. All authors must sign and submit the Attestation of Authorization form. Download the form here. All essays must be sent to AIW2022@africa-union.org by the 30th of September 2022 at 23:59 pm EAT.
The winner of the Essay contest will have the opportunity to address Heads of State and Government on proposals, strategies and pathways for youth inclusion and engagement on industrialization and economic diversification, that will support the creation of millions of decent jobs for the youth, and the uptake of their innovative skills and technological knowhow. The winner will among others be issued with a certificate from the African Union and will present the essay at the Summit in November 2022.
The essay will be used as a guideline, a voice of young people and their views on the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) and Innovation on the continent especially leveraging from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The essay should be centred around the Summit theme “Industrialising Africa: Renewed commitment towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification”, and should elaborate the challenges and actions within the region and solutions to those challenges. It should also include one of the following AU Agenda 2063 Aspirations:
- Aspiration 1: A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development
- Aspiration 2: An integrated continent, politically united and based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance
- Aspiration 6: An Africa, whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children
The African Union Commission is collaborating with various development partners and institutions to organize the Summit whose outcome will be anchored on upgrading skills by aligning education with the actual needs of the labour market; mobilizing financial resources for Africa’s structural transformation; building soft and hard infrastructure including energy, for Africa’s economic transformation; promoting commodity-based industrialization for inclusive growth and sustainable development; deepening continental economic integration; harnessing the opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and, among others, establishing internal capabilities in Research and Development.