This year, ONE in Africa will be in New York City for the 72nd United Nations General Assembly urging African nations and their partners to develop bold and time bound plans to scale up investments in African youth education, employment and empowerment to avoid a demographic disaster.
Africa is sitting on a huge opportunity waiting to be unleashed – 60% of Africa’s 1.2 billion people are youth. Without a doubt, the advantage Africa’s youth population provides to our economies cannot be over stated. What is needed now are bold decisions and investments made at country, regional and continental levels otherwise there will be real consequences for today’s youth and the next generations to come.
This is why we are honoured to support African First Ladies (OAFLA) at its annual High Level Event based on the African Union’s theme of the year, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”, where the meeting will be drawing focus on health and youth.
ONE believes that to ensure that the continent’s youth can drive this surge in inclusive growth African leaders must invest with ambition and urgency between 2017 – 2030. Since poverty is sexist, the dividend will not be fully realised if Africa does not focus on the specific needs and constraints of its women and girls on the continent.
ONE takes its participation with the first ladies with utmost importance as first ladies have a platform for impact. They can use this dispensation to champion causes that will improve the lives of those in need. Because of the first ladies’ unique position, they have the ability to advocate and create transformations by influencing those who can make a change, in addition to taking active part in producing the change as well.
ONE Champion on Demographic Dividend and Former President of Tanzania, H. E. Jakaya Kikwete will be sharing his proposal on how the continent can take advantage of its youth population and the role the First Ladies can play.
Nigerian media personality Abisola Aiyeola, better known as Bisola will also be joining us this year at UN General Assembly as a ONE Ambassador. Bisola won ONE’s #GirlsCount Back to School presentation task during this season reality-show Big Brother Naija. ONE’s #GirlsCount campaign focuses on the importance of girls’ education and recognises that globally, 130 million girls are out of school with 51million of them in Africa.
We are proud to have Bisola join us at the United Nations General Assembly meetings! She has a personal story about her desire for education and how finances prevented her from completing her studies. Her presentation in the Big Brother House was moving as she highlighted the status of girls education. During the UNGA we will ask Nigerian and other African leaders to make education work for every girl by 2030, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4.