Across Africa, young people are driving progress on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors. Through entrepreneurship, advocacy, and education, African youth are contributing to sustainable development and economic growth, while also demanding accountability from governments and businesses.
Entrepreneurship is one area where young people in Africa are making a significant impact on SDG 8, which aims to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. Many young entrepreneurs across the continent are starting new businesses that create jobs and drive innovation. For example, flutter wave, an online payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers across the continent by Nigerian youth, is transforming e-commerce. Meanwhile, Solar Freeze, a Kenyan startup, is using solar energy to power refrigeration units, helping farmers to preserve their crops and reduce waste.
Advocacy and activism are other areas where the youth in Africa are driving progress on ESG factors. Young people across the continent are using their voices to demand accountability from governments and companies on issues such as climate change, human rights, and corruption. The African Climate Alliance, a youth-led organization in South Africa, is fighting for climate justice and advocating for more ambitious climate policies. In Nigeria, the EndSARS protests mobilized millions of young people to demand an end to police brutality and systemic corruption.
Education and skills development are also areas where young people in Africa are driving progress on SDGs and ESG factors. Across the continent, programs are providing vocational training and mentorship to young people, helping them to develop the skills they need to succeed in the job market. For example, the Code Queens initiative in Uganda is training young women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, while the Skills Hub in Ghana is providing vocational training and mentorship.
The youth in Africa are demonstrating that they have the creativity, skills, and passion to drive progress on SDGs and ESG factors. By supporting and empowering young people, governments and businesses can unlock their potential and accelerate progress towards a more sustainable and equitable future for all. African youth are proving that they can be leaders and change-makers, and their contributions will be essential in achieving the SDGs and creating a more just and sustainable world.