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Youth Connect 2019: Benefits, lessons and recommendation

The 3rd YouthConnekt Africa Summit came to an end on Friday bringing down a curtain to a three-day sequence of activities held in Kigali, bringing together over 8,000 youths from over 90 countries.

It has seen numerous activities such as panel discussions on different issues, motivational speeches from influential people and exhibitions.

The highlight of the final day was a speech by First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame, who tipped the youth on the African continent on having the right vision to steer the continent's transformation agenda. Some attendees shared their views, lessons gotten and recommendations for the 2020 YouthConnekt Summit withThe New Times Ange Iliza.


Moise Mutuyimana, a university student in Rwanda

I believe the agenda of the summit has been really good because it captures almost everything worth discussing by youth. However, the summit still attracts a small number of youths, compared to people who deserve and want to attend. I think it should grow bigger to be able to accommodate more.

Islam Elbeiti, Khartoum, Sudan

The fact that YouthConnekt gathers young people, which is something rare about the summits we know of, should be appreciated. I appreciate the topics discussed but I think going forward, the summit should focus more on cultural development because I think through culture there is enormous potential for development in Africa. African culture is our most important point of advantage because it is embedded in our daily lives. It should more focused on.

Martin Oloo, Managing Director of Fab Lab Winam, Kenya

It is at such platforms where you meet all of African peers in the same place. I have met a lot of people and discussed a lot of things. I have learnt from the speakers and their experience. I think it will help me build a better career. I recommend that for the next summits, they include a lot of practical sessions. I think youth need to work and practice more.

Mutinta Munyati, Zambia, UN-Habitat Kenya

I have attended two summits so far, and I think this year’s summit gave more time to discussions and dialogues. For improvement areas, I think we should have more action-oriented feedback on what people have done since the last YouthConnekt so that some recommendations get implemented

Mukamwiza Yvette, an IPRC Ngoma student

I am more interested in innovation. I came here with a project that I developed with my schoolmates. I got so inspired and motivated. I think there should be more of these kinds of summits because they enlighten and motivate young creators and innovators like me.

Khalid Ahmed, Journalist and youth activist, Somali Land  

I have connected with a lot of people that I needed. The summit had been very inspiring to me and I am happy to share my experience with the youth back in Somaliland. I can only ask for YouthConnekt to be made bigger and keep growing.

Sawy Maito, a lawyer from DRC

I gained much from the discussions on the challenges that African youth face. Not just only that, but how to tackle and overcome them. I, however, recommend that the summit shades more light on discussing human rights issues going forward. 

This is because African youth are the ones who are usually driven to violate those rights by the political class. YouthConnekt should also be made bigger to reach a big number of African youth because it is a better place to learn, connect and get unified.

Awah Ntseh, entrepreneur and snail farmer, Cameroon

It was my first time to attend YouthConnekt. It definitely went above my expectations because I learnt about the quality of its content. As an entrepreneur, I understand that my network is my net worth, so I made sure I connect with as many people as possible.

Seong  Yeonjy, a Korean youth volunteer

I think the most interesting part of this summit is to teach the youth how to control themselves and cope with the problems they face in whichever form they come. In Japan, one of the developed countries, we see a big number of youth who commit suicide. In meetings like these, youth get motivated.


In 2012, The Government of Rwanda partnered with UNDP to initiate the YouthConnektprogramme that is a multifaceted youth empowerment model focused on leveraging youth employability, entrepreneurship and civic engagement through innovation with a specific mission to serve as portal of connecting youth with their peers, role models, skills and resources for their socio-economic empowerment.