Saturday September 24, 2011
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Archive video link available at

Africa's decade-long growth before, and impressive recovery after, the global financial crisis - not to mention the 26 success stories in the recently published book, "Yes, Africa Can" - has led to considerable optimism about the continent's prospects for sustained growth and poverty reduction.  Yet Africa faces daunting challenges, especially for the 7-10 million young people entering the labor force every year - building skills, finding productive jobs and, particularly for those in fragile and conflict-affected states, overcoming constraints of weak governance.

This session brought together academics, private sector actors, policymakers from other regions and African officials to discuss and debate what it will take to make Africa's growth work for its young people - especially in terms of employment opportunities, resilience to external shocks, and strengthened governance.  

Key questions addressed included:
  • What will it take to make Africa's growth inclusive - especially in terms of youth employment - and sustainable over the next two decades?
  • How can African countries build an export-led manufacturing sector in today's globalized world?
  • How can we increase the earnings of the 70-80 percent of the labor force that is in the informal sector--either in agriculture or in non-farm household enterprises?
  • How can we enhance the skills of the workforce, especially in light of the mixed results of vocational training programs in the past?
  • What can be done to help young people, especially young women, in the transition from school to work?

Panelist(s):Ernest Aryeetey , Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana, Ghana
Obiageli Ezekwesili , Vice Predient, Africa Region, World Bank Group
Maria Kiwanuka , Minister of Finance, Uganda
Santiago Levy Algazi , Vice President, Sector and Knowledge, Inter-American Development Bank
Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita , Chief Executive, ArcelorMittal, South Africa
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu , Founder and Managing Director, soleRebels, Ethiopia
Moderator(s):Lerato Mbele , Senior Anchor, CNBC Africa, South Africa

Organized by:Obiageli Ezekwesili, Vice-President Africa Region - World Bank Group

Last modified on: 09/28/2011 05:09:01 PM