How Can Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs And Innovators Make AfCFTA Successful


African continental free trade is a trade agreement founded among the 55 African countries to boost intra trade African by more than 50%. The objective of this agreement is to;

  • Create a single market and deepening economic integration of the continent.
  • Aid the movement of capital, goods, investment and people across the continent.
  • Enhance competitiveness of member states within Africa and the global market.
  • Promote sustainable, socioeconomic development, gender equality and positive transformation of member states.
  • Enhance industrialization, agricultural development and food security.
    AfCFTA is a very great initiative to move the African continent forward, to make the continent better and to join forces for our development. The worth of the African continent alone is over $3.4 trillion and this huge resource cannot be left in the hands of only foreigners. It is high time Africa makes use of its own resources, make investment in the life of its own citizens and take the continent out of poverty. But this dream can only be achieved if all citizens are brought on board especially the youth because they are the future leaders. Together we stand, divided we fall.

YOUTH MOBILIZATION AND ORGANIZATION FOR EFFECTIVE AfCTA IMPLEMENTATION.

The leaders of tomorrow are born today therefore the future belong to the youths, They are the future strength and leaders. Therefore they must be nurtured to contribute their quota to the success of the continent. Youths of all member countries must be mobilized for the African continental free trade to be successful and some of the ways by which these can be done include; education, patriotism, entrepreneurship, job creation and employment.

Education (formal, technical and vocational)


The foundation of every country is the education of its youths. Due to poverty, the African continent has been lacking behind in terms of education for a very long time and it is time to correct things. Education must be made very accessible and affordable to all citizens. A good example is the free primary and secondary, technical and vocational education policy being implemented in Ghana. Education is the best means to eliminate illiteracy and poverty on the continent. Dr Aggrey once said “when you educate a man, you educate an individual but when you educate a woman you educate a whole nation.” Governments across all member states must formulate policies that will make education affordable to the people especially for the females because an educated mother will go to every extent and make sure her children also get educated. There must be a form of compulsory free education. There must be focus on technical and vocational education. Skills must be developed through the vocational system in order to increase the skillful labor force of the continent such as practical engineers, craftsmen, etc. The youths are very talented but if the educational system does not allow them the make use of their talents, they will become frustrated, jobless and depressed which will birth many crimes. Governments must vigorously equip and retool technical schools, also build new ones and campaign to the youths not to shy away from such institutions or see them as a place for the poor and unintelligent students. Technical schools and students musts be treated equally if not even better than the other formal schools.

Patriotism


Due to poverty, hardship and unfavorable systems or conditions on the continent, a lot of the youths are eager to depart from the continent even at the expense of their lives. The spirit and confidence of the youths are always dwindling and so is their commitment and patriotism to the continent. Governments of member states must begin to identify the frustration in the system and try to make life better for citizens. As the saying goes “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. People are looking for the least opportunity to fly out of the continent because they feel they do not have any treasure here. Governments must identify negative obstacles such as corruption, unemployment, poverty which are making the youths angry and unpatriotic. Patriotism must also be taught in our schools to change the unpatriotic mindset. This will help citizens cultivate a positive mindset about the continent and also help to develop it.

Entrepreneurship, job creation and employment

The resources of the African continent will be of waste if it does not benefit its citizens. The aim of AfCFTA is to make use of the resources of Africa to develop the continent through the free trade which will result in massive industrialization and job creation. There is huge unemployment on the continent because most people are looking for jobs that do not exist or are limited. Most people are interested in seeking for already made jobs instead of creating those jobs. Some of the youths are unwilling to venture into entrepreneurship because it is very tough.

The systems are not very favorable when it comes to entrepreneurship. No or limited funding or support for small businesses. It is a very lonely and helpless journey which only faith can determine if none will succeed or not. Countries must consciously support the youth who want to start their own businesses. For example, Institutions such as Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) in Ghana must collaborate with the banks to give soft loans at very low interest rates to small businesses. Grants, tools and equipment should also be made very accessible to startups especially women owned businesses.

Business registration or formalization processes should also be made less cumbersome, killer taxes should be reduced as well and this will make entrepreneurship attractive to the youths. This is the only way to reduce unemployment and also create businesses that can trade across the continent and generate the needed income.
If all these methods are adopted, the youths can be mobilized effectively to make AfCFTA successful.

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