The Africa-EU YouthLab in Abidjan

“We need jobs by the youth for the youth.” This quote by Wadzanai Motsi-Khatai sums up the outcome of the Africa-EU YouthLab, a two-day design thinking workshop that took place two days before the EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF) in Abidjan and that was organised by the Make-IT Secretariat. Wadzi represented the YouthLab at the Opening High Level Panel of this year’s EABF on 27 November 2017 in the Ivorian capital. To foster the creation of such jobs, Wadzi, together with 19 peers from all over Africa and the EU and supported by the team of Make-IT, elaborated 10 recommendations of the youth to business leaders and policy makers of both continents. These recommendations range from open internet for all to an increased pan-African mobility for digital goods, services and people.

In the end, the 10 recommendations became part of the final documents of the EU-Africa Business Forum that were presented by the Vice President of the EU Commission, Andrus Ansip, at the EU-AU Summit two days later. And another outcome to highlight: The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, was so impressed by Wadzi’s perfomance that he invited the YouthLab to discuss the 10 recommendations later that day.

But this isn’t all: Make-IT in Africa sponsored the participation of 15 tech start-ups at the digital start-up fair of the EABF. There, the start-ups could showcase their ideas and expand their networks. The 15 start-ups were among a total of 150 African and European start-ups present at the EABF.

Picture credit: Kim Mühl/GIZ

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