Special Session F

Fostering youth Entrepreneurship in Africa: Opportunities, Challenges, and Policy Implications

Youth employment is one of the most urgent challenges for policy makers in Africa. With nearly 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, Africa is the world's youngest continent. An estimated 120 million young people will join the labour force in the next decade - nearly three times more than the rate at which stable wage paying jobs are expected to be created. Entrepreneurial development and innovation are critical for generating the needed jobs.

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) consortium are jointly hosting this panel discussion which will draw on the findings from a research project on youth entrepreneurship and sustainable likelihoods involving 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa funded by IDRC and carried out under the auspices of GEM. The GEM project is an annual assessment of the entrepreneurial activity, aspirations and attitudes of individuals across a wide range of countries.

Dr. Martha Melesse, Senior Program Specialist, IDRC

Dr. Mebrahtu Meles, State Minister of Industry, Ethiopia
Mr. Likando Mukumbata, Director General of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commision of Zambia
Dr. Mike Herrington, Executive Director, Global Entrepreneurship Research Association
Dr. Tassew Woldehanna, Vice Precident for Research and Technology Transfer, Addis Ababa University

Dr. Martha Melesse, International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada