Africa has the youngest population in the world: over 75% of its 1.2 billion inhabitants are under the age of 35 and 453 million Africans are aged 15-35. The continent’s youthful population presents a powerful opportunity for accelerated economic growth and innovation. However, greater economic productivity will only manifest when young people are healthy, well-educated and empowered to seize opportunities and thrive. The African Union Commission upholds the centrality of youth empowerment as attested in the aforementioned policy frameworks as well as the African Youth Charter and the African Plan of Action on Youth Empowerment.
The 2019 Results Report released by the Global Fund indicates that the fight against malaria is one of the biggest public health successes of the 21st century. As Africa tackles the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that leaders reflect on this success and how leveraging on existing policies, plus youth empowerment can maintain the momentum. It is in this context that the Commission hosted a roundtable webinar to discuss the political instruments, innovations, and resources available to enable youth involvement in maintaining strong fight against malaria on the continent.
Recommendations extended by the panelists during the webinar were compiled into an information note which can be downloaded here.