Lusaka-COMESA in partnership with ACCORD,Epukaugadi,Horn of Africa youth network ,Institute for security studies,National development council,Save the children and The European Union are currently hosting a three day intergenerational Dialogue Forum in Zambia on “Peace and Security as a catalyst to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
Home to some of the world’s most protracted armed insurgencies conflicts and political violence,perhaps accounting for a low rate of intra-African trade initiatives across the continent, according to The (World Bank 2020:9)the implementation of the AfCFTA can be an opportunity for the countries in the region to “competitively integrate into the global economy, reduce poverty and promote inclusion.”
Speaking during the Forum COMESA Youth Advisory Panel Chairperson Ms Angel Mbuthia said placing youths at such Forums was commendable as the young generation holds the key to the future.
“The interplay of the youth and the realm of trade is undeniable as we delve into the intricate of web of interconnected topics today, we cannot overlook the fact that youth are not just the future of our continent but also an essential driving force behind the AfCTA,our ideas aspirations and innovations will be instrumental in realizing the potential of this historical economic endeavor,”she explained.
Also officiating the opening of the Forum was the Zambian Permanent Secretary in charge of Youth Sports and Art Mr.Kangwa Chileshe said that their government has already given youth a seat at the table.
“Zambia is finalizing the formulation of the new national youth policy while repealing the NYDC Act and part of this process included consultation with all the youth in all the provinces of Zambia.
“As a result of these and other youth engagements platform, Zambia is witnessing an unprecedented participation of youth in decision making and other various spheres of development,”he strengthened.
AfCTA aims to boost the progress made by the continent in raising living standards while reducing poverty by pushing Continental trade,which in turn can be a way of creating more jobs and enhancing youth representation and participation in political spaces and economic affairs.