From the metropolis Johannesburg to rural communities in Northern Zambia, from Uganda’s agricultural sector to Nairobi’s ICT hubs. The Road to Nairobi 2016 project has connected youth entrepreneurs and local change makers in eight African countries to foster youth employment. The Building Bridges team of African and European youth conducted field visits to youth entrepreneurs, met with local youth organizations and conversed with youngsters from all walks of life they met on the road. At the end of each country visit multi-stakeholder events were organized to present real life case studies and to propose better policies to increase the youth employment rate. Everyone involved learned from young people on the ground about their environments and challenges and pledged to work together on youth driven solutions for youth employment and youth entrepreneurship.
Innovative youth entrepreneurs have taken matters into their hand to overcome unemployment. Their best practices and solutions will be investigated and used as starting points for change. Youth-led solutions will foster youth employment.
On the African continent youth unemployment is soaring and access to decent employment limited. Youth increasingly indicate an interest in self-employment globally. But how can policy makers foster and support this?
To encourage sustainability long after the project has ended, a multi-stakeholder approach is adopted. The project will not stand alone, but rather will function as the starting point for an inclusion of more youth-led iniatives and solutions.
At the beginning of December, a diverse group of stakeholders met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss critical issues at the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation's second High Level Meeting. Building upon months of grassroots organization in the lead up, the Building Bridges Foundation, with partners UN SDG Action Campaign and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ensured that ideas and opinions of young people had a special role at the conference. The team departed South Africa in August with the mission of revealing the challenges and priorities of young entrepreneurs in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The best were flown to Nairobi to compete in a global competition. The journey also included national youth forums with policy makers to discuss the results.