Africa Has Phenomenal Potential For Intra-Continental Trade | The Youth Cafe

Africa Has Phenomenal Potential  For Intra-Continental Trade | The Youth Cafe

By DR. MUKHISA KITUYI, UNCTAD SECRETARY-GENERAL

Forty-nine of Africa’s 55 countries have signed the framework for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free and unfettered movement of businesspeople and investments. When at least 22 countries ratify it, the AfCFTA will officially come into force, potentially making the continent the largest trading bloc in the world. Africa Renewal’s Zipporah Musau spoke with Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), on what countries stand to gain and what challenges to expect. Excerpts:

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in the Sahel | Crucial for Sustainable Development | The Youth Cafe

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in the Sahel | Crucial for Sustainable Development | The Youth Cafe

After flying into the city of Bolin in the Republic of Chad, over the lush fields and receding lakes; Amina Mohammed, the United Nations’ Deputy Secretary-General landed to a rapturous welcome from traditional rulers and local women. Their faces reflected a hope and dignity slipping away under the harsh reality of poverty and insecurity. The women, smiling at them as they disembarked, showed the same resilience she had seen in women in countless contexts: an ability to survive, even in the face of multiple forms of violence and insecurity at home, in public or from political conflict.

Mechanizing Agriculture is Key to Food Security | The Youth Cafe

Mechanizing Agriculture  is Key to Food Security | The Youth Cafe

BY BUSANI BAFANA

In African woman with hoe in hand is the default symbol of agriculture in Africa, according to the late Calestous Juma, African academic and former Harvard Kennedy School professor. Mr. Juma used that image to convey the drudgery-filled farming that women on the continent face. Women grow 70% of Africa’s food on smallholder farms, a task anchored by physical labour.

Africa’s Megacities a Magnet for Investors | The Youth Cafe

Africa’s Megacities a Magnet for Investors | The Youth Cafe

BY FINBARR TOESLAND

Megacities, cities with a population of at least 10 million, are sprouting everywhere in Africa. Cairo in Egypt, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Lagos in Nigeria are already megacities, while Luanda in Angola, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Johannesburg in South Africa will attain the status by 2030, according the United Nations. Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and Nairobi in Kenya will surpass the 10 million threshold by 2040. And by 2050 Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Bamako in Mali, Dakar in Senegal and Ibadan and Kano in Nigeria will join the ranks—bringing the total number of megacities in Africa to 14 in about 30 years.

No Real Development in Africa Without Regional Integration | The Youth Cafe

No Real Development in Africa  Without Regional Integration | The Youth Cafe

By Ahunna Eziakonwa

United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Ahunna Eziakonwa is the new Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Ms. Eziakonwa had served as the UN Resident Coordinator in Ethiopia, Uganda and Lesotho. In this interview with Africa Renewal’s Kingsley Ighobor, she discusses key issues pertaining to Africa’s socioeconomic development, including the empowerment of women and youth and Africa’s free trade area, which entered into force in April. These are excerpts.

Countries Propose a Treaty to End Corporate Impunity | The Youth Cafe

Countries Propose a Treaty  to End Corporate Impunity | The Youth Cafe

BY HANS WETZELS

When Ecuadorian diplomat Luis Gallegos first proposed a “Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights,” many countries and environmental activists welcomed the idea with open arms. Backed by South Africa, Mr. Gallegos urged the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, to immediately begin negotiations to end human rights violations and environmental damage by transnational corporations.

African Music on a Round Trip —From Cotonou to Cuba and Back | The Youth Cafe

African Music on a Round Trip —From Cotonou to Cuba and Back | The Youth  Cafe

BY FRANCK KUWONU

It’s Sunday night at Aba House, an open-air bar in Lomé, Togo’s capital, and stylish young men and women in modern African dress fill the dance floor as the bass guitarist pumps up the tempo. Powerful! Soulful! The lyrics are in Mina, a local language in southern Togo and parts of neighboring Benin, but the music is unmistakably Afro-Cuban, a genre with global acclaim. The weather is cool, the air filled with a misty marine breeze coming from the roaring Atlantic Ocean.

Young People can Capably Lead Africa Into the Future | The Youth Cafe

Young People can Capably  Lead Africa Into the Future | The Youth Cafe

By Aya Chebbi, African Union Youth Envoy

Aya Chebbi of Tunisia is the first-ever youth envoy of the African Union. Her appointment in November 2018 boosts the AU’s efforts to include the talents and skills of the continent’s bulging youth population in achieving its Agenda 2063, a framework for Africa’s socioeconomic transformation. Ms. Chebbi is expected to promote, among other issues, youth leadership and participation in governance, gender equality, safe migration, employment and climate change action. Raphael Obonyo, a youth activist, interviewed Ms. Chebbi for Africa Renewal on a range of issues affecting Africa’s young people. These are excerpts.

Good Education is the Foundation for Effective Female Leadership | The Youth Cafe

BY FRANCK KUWONU

African women’s restricted access to quality education, knowledge and resources is preventing them from gaining leadership positions on the continent, says Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson, a veteran West African women’s rights activist. Another problem is that women—especially rural women—are allowed only limited control over finances, means of production and land. Consequently the pace of women’s empowerment remains slow, Ms. Adjamagbo-Johnson says.In an interview with Africa Renewal, Ms. Adjamagbo-Johnson reflected on decades of women’s political leadership, gender activism and professional engagement in Togo, her home country, and West Africa in general.

Technology is a Liberating Force for African Women | The Youth Cafe

Technology is a Liberating  Force for African Women | The Youth Cafe

BY CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO

As ride-hailing apps proliferate the globe, the year-old An Nisa Taxi in Kenya is one of the standouts in Africa. Developed by 33-year-old Mehnaz Sarwar, An Nisa is run by women and serves female passengers and children exclusively. Ms. Sarwar sought to overcome two obstacles: limited job opportunities for women in a male-dominated industry and the reluctance of women to hail taxis, because physical abuse from drivers—including sexual abuse—is known to take place.

Youthful Minister Opening Doors for Women and Girls | The Youth Cafe

Youthful Minister  Opening Doors for  Women and Girls | The Youth Cafe

BY BABOKI KAYAWE

Bogolo Kenewendo describes herself as having been “an ordinary Botswana child with an ordinary upbringing.”Ms. Kenewendo, poised and focused beyond her years, is being modest. At 32 she is Botswana’s youngest minister, in charge of investment, trade and industry. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics, specializing in macroeconomic policy, public debt management, export development and other trade-related fields.

Economic Empowerment of Women Good for All | The Youth Cafe

BY KINGSLEY IGHOBOR

Government staffer Souhayata Haidara enjoys talking about her life in a patriarchal society. Her career is a triumph of patience and perseverance, she tells Africa Renewal with a smile and a wink. Ms. Haidara, currently the Special Adviser to Mali’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, says she was lucky not to be married off at age 14 like some of her peers. Her father resisted pressure from suitors and relatives and insisted that the teenager be allowed to complete high school before getting married.

African Women in Politics: Miles to go before parity is achieved | The Youth Cafe

BY ZIPPORAH MUSAU

In the fight for gender equality, women around the world have advanced in small and large ways. Yet for women in Africa, progress is measured in micro steps, and the struggle has a long way to go. The good news is that women’s rep-resentation in political decision making has been on the rise globally. The not-so-good news is that the increase has been stubbornly slow, barely 1% in 2018 compared with the previous year. In 2018 the number of women ministers world-wide reached an all-time high at 20.7% (812 out of 3922).

Paying a High Price for Skin Bleaching | The Youth Cafe

BY PAVITHRA RAO

“I’ve been dark skinned for many years and I wanted to experience the other side. I wanted to see what it would be like to be white and I’m happy,” says South African singer Mshoza, whose real name is Nomasonto Mnisi. Mshoza is famous for her music—and now for her bleached skin. She initially sought to bleach her hyperpigmentation (dark patches on the skin) but then decided to maintain a light complexion overall.

Zimbabwe’s Beef Industry Stampedes Back to Life | The Youth Cafe

BY RAY MWAREYA

Zimbabwe’s famed beef industry, which collapsed in the 2000s following outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, is now rebounding. The Southern African country’s global beef exports resumed in 2017, 10 years after they slowed to a crawl when the country’s economy tumbled. In addition to the foot-and-mouth disease, the beef industry had been hit by crippling economic sanctions imposed on the country by Western nations, which contributed to hyperinflation, huge foreign debts and obsolete transport fleets. Mismanagement of livestock farms worsened the situation.

Looking Back at International Women's Day 2019 | Sport-In The Balance | The Youth Cafe

 Looking  Back at  International  Women's Day 2019 | Sport-In The Balance | The Youth Cafe

By Jacqueline Njeri

40 years ago in 1979, the right of women and girls to participate in sports was affirmed. A balanced world is envisioned as a better world, for women, men, children, and youth. Balance being where and when opposing forces combine. It is truly an instinctive picture of collaboration. To come together with every intention to bring balance to the way we approach women and youth empowerment means to accept that there have been mistakes and to embrace future challenges as synergies and possibilities. In the sport for development and peace sector, groundbreaking initiatives have been set in motion to empower women and girls, with recent ones such as the 'One Win Leads to Another' project by UN Women.

Africa, Youth and Supranational Democracy | The Youth Cafe

Africa, Youth and Supranational Democracy | The Youth Cafe

By Susanna Cafaro,

Many people react with suspicion and mistrust when they hear the two words global governanceand even worse when they hear about global laws or global constitutionalism. I can understand them. They are afraid of an authoritarian, elitist system, going to limit the sovereignty of states and communities, to suppress self-determination, to flatten cultural identities. A real nightmare. Paradoxically, this is what happens with globalization in the absence of a global rule of law, what happens right now, when the forces of market and the pressure to competitiveness are left alone to govern processes and outcomes.

Will Young People Influence Nigerian Elections on Saturday? | The Youth Cafe

Will Young People Influence Nigerian Elections on Saturday? | The Youth Cafe

By Emmanuel Haruna

As citizens safeguard their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) ahead of 2019 general elections, it will prove a litmus-test for Nigeria's democratic process. Increased awareness for PVCs was never heard before than now since the return of democracy in 1999. It is evident that bad politicians are voted into public spaces or offices by good people who refuse to vote.