Strathmore Business School Dean Dr. George Njenga has challenged global leaders to support the development of quality technical skills in Africa, to enable the continent enjoy the benefits of pan-africanism and realize a double digit economic growth rate.
Dr.Njenga spoke during the 4th edition of the New York Forum Africa (NYFA), hosted by President Ali Bongo Ondimba, in Libreville, Gabon. This year’s forum is focusing on climate change, jobs, and education opportunities for Africa’s youth and international law in Africa. NYFA 2015 has its focal point on the energy that comes from Africa’s human resources; its women and youth, and the energy provided by innovation & technology in the continent, research, development and key sectors e.g. agriculture and natural resources.
“If we want Pan-Africanism, it must sit close to every President in Africa. We have to build the African market by breaking down barriers between us,” said Dr. Njenga, as he urged the heads of state and business leaders present at the forum to make youth empowerment a priority.
The youth are the future drivers of the economy and governments need to invest in technical institutions, key to a sustainable youthful workforce in the continent. This will nurture young leaders, and equip them with tools to drive the continent to the next stage of development. There is a further need for African leaders to invest more in social capital and apprenticeship programs, to empower youth in Africa with required skills and exposure.
Dr. Njenga shared the panel with Samir Abdelkrim, the founder of StartUpBRICS, Aisha Karanja, the Executive Director Green Belt movement and Andy Rowland, he president of the National Youth Council in Gabon.
A good percentage of African countries are now experiencing stability with increasing levels of governance, transparency and a healthy economic growth rate. As a result, the continent is increasingly being recognized as the investment hub and a major frontier market. In October 2014, the World Bank projected robust African GDP growth in the coming years 30 African countries expect 5%-17.5% growth in 2015.
Richard Attias, founder of The New York Forum, said,“This is the fourth edition of the NYFA and we are delighted to continue to add to the important topics covered within the three days. By broadening our reach, we hope to broaden the impact of the NYFA, through partnerships with public and private sector organizations.”