UNITAR TICAD VI Panel on Capacity Development for African Youth

UNITAR TICAD VI Side Event on Youth27 August 2016, Nairobi, Kenya - As part of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VI Summit being held in Nairobi, Kenya, the UNITAR Hiroshima Office successfully held a side event focusing on "Capacity Development for African Youth: Lessons Learnt and Future Prospects". Featuring experts and youth representatives engaged in capacity development in Africa, the event reviewed the lessons learnt from activities undertaken to date by multiple organizations, and explored the challenges, successes and future prospects that young Africans face.

The event's panelists included (alphabetically):

  • Ms. Izeduwa Derex-Briggs, Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, UN Women
  • Dr. George Kosimbei, Director of the Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre, Kenyatta University
  • Ms. Mihoko Kumamoto, Head, UNITAR Hiroshima Office
  • Ms. Peggy Ochola – Founder and Executive Director, PACEmaker International

The event began with each panelist giving a short presentation on the work and experiences of their organization, in relation to African youth. This was followed by a lively and engaging panel discussion. A wide range of questions were asked, ranging from incentives for Vocational Education to the role that technology can play to empower youth . Specific questions were also posed on the initiatives and experiences of each organization.

UNITAR TICAD VI Side Event on YouthThere was considerable interest in the story of PACEmaker International, a Kenyan-based initiative which arose out of the teacher shortage in Kenya. PACE recruits and trains recent high school graduates to volunteer as teaching assistants at Kenyan schools. The volunteers benefit from the structured training and work experience, whilst the schools and teachers benefit from much-needed support in areas such as tutoring, mentoring, grading and language instruction. Questions were posed around the challenges experienced, funding and future prospects.

The role of UN Women in supporting marginalized populations was also explored, with questions from the floor asking for specific examples of initiatives and statistics, as well as what are the greatest challenges facing girls. 

How entrepreneurs can be supported in Kenya, and the specific challenges they face was discussed as well. The Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre, which is a part of the Kenyatta University, and supports a number of Kenyan start-ups, is one example of support provided to local youth. Questions on the type of support, funding in the Kenyan environment, and the long-term sustainability of such support were asked.

A discussion paper, exploring the issues raised in the side event, will be developed.


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Photos: UNITAR TICAD VI Side Event on Youth