A creative youth competition on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for young people in Africa as well as those in the Diaspora with African citizenship has been launched. The competition dubbed the ‘Umoja Africa Campaign – Youth Contributing to the Implementation of the AfCFTA’ targets young people between the age of 18 and 35 years.
This is a collaborative initiative between the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA), the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Afreximbank, the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the UN Development Program (UNDP). Those interested can submit essays, infographics, and/ or animation on the topic; ‘The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)’ from July 31 to Deadline September 31. Winners announced November.
The content for the competition should display ingenuity in communicating the AfCFTA to young people, by breaking down elements of the AfCFTA into simple and easy-to-understand content for their peers. The aim is to encourage young people in Africa and those in the diaspora to contribute to the development of Africa’s young leaders and enhance youth participation in the implementation and achievement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The competition will encourage them to participate in the implementation of the AfCFTA
The winning essay writer, infographics, and animation creators will each receive a cash prize of $1,000. The first runners up will receive $500, second runners up $300. The essay winner will also receive a paid internship with one of the partner institutions, while the others will receive design contracts with other partners among other prizes.
The creative competition is expected to break information asymmetry among youth on the AfCFTA and promote a bottom-up approach to policy formulation and implementation by harnessing innovative youth-driven solutions that will contribute to active youth engagement in the popularization of the AfCFTA. This will then generate conversations and discourse on the youth involvement in the trade in Africa and their role in the implementation of AfCFTA.
Creating awareness among the youth in Africa on the AfCFTA will encourage them to be more innovative and creative, empowering them to become leaders not only at home but across borders. An international trade center report shows that Africa is the youngest continent in the world with a median age of 19.8 years. 65% of the population in Africa is also under the age of 25. It is projected that a third of the youth will live in Africa by 2050. Yet the majority of the young people are unemployed, lack access to financial resources, face barriers to start and scale up their small businesses.
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