​Launch of the ‘1 Million by 2021 Initiative’ at the Pan African Youth Forum

The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat will launch the 1 million by 2021 Initiative, which targets direct investment in millions of African youth on the four key elements of employment, entrepreneurship, education and engagement (4Es), through leveraging partnerships and private sector opportunities. The initiative will be launched through a Pan African Youth Forum, themed Africa Unite for Youth: Bridging the Gap and Reaching African Youth.

Young people make up the bulk of Africa’s total population, with an estimated 75% of the continent’s population below the age of 35. This calls for a paradigm shift towards the recognition and support of the youth in order to harness their potential. This will be achieved by building capacity for quality education and skills improvement, health and wellbeing, good governance, human rights and accountability, employment opportunities, leadership skills, empowerment and entrepreneurship. This is the basis for prioritising youth development by the AUC, as evidenced by the 2017 theme of the year: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.

Mahamat is launching the 1 million by 2021 Initiative as a demonstration of the African Union’s commitment to young Africans. This initiative seeks to concretely provide opportunities in the 4Es for millions of African youths by the year 2021.

Twelve pathways have been identified as drivers for the 4Es that will facilitate the expansion of opportunities in youth development: models for teacher development, mobilising and catalysing capital growth for youth-led start-ups; nurturing start-ups; skills transfer hubs; internships and apprenticeships; digital skills; job centers; digital skills; leadership programs and exchange programmes.

The initiative requires that top continental players in the development space and the private sector pool their resources and opportunities together within a sustainable ecosystem built along collaborative and pan-African lines.


The initiative will be launched on April 24 2019 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The forum brings together over 400 young people from across the continent to co-create solutions on the 4Es. Development partners, the private sector, institutions of higher learning and the civil societies will also be in attendance to engage with the youth and pledge their support for the initiative.

For more information visit www.au.int

Face book: https://www.facebook.com/AfricanUnionCommission

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_AfricanUnion

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/AUCommission

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