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Executive Perspectives

EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: The Role of Cross-Sector Collaboration in Sustainability

Madeline Garnett

21 Sep 2018

21 September 2018

“The African continent is rich with diversity and potential, but sustainable and efficient economies—along with collaborative and inclusive communities—must be built from the ground up and, crucially, be African-led.”

In today’s environment of stark political division, the need to bring diverse perspectives to the table to examine pressing global issues and drive a sustainable future is more important than ever before. And that’s what Concordia aims to achieve. Taking place on September 24-25 in New York City, the Concordia Annual Summit is the leading nonpartisan forum alongside the United Nations General Assembly. By Madeline Garnett, Strategic Engagement Associate and Africa Lead, Concordia

2017 Concordia Annual Summit. Photo provided by Concordia.

Held during the 73rd sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit will convene heads of state, international C-suite executives, global nonprofit leaders, and senior administration officials to advance collaborative solutions to the most pressing global challenges.

Programming will span a wide range of critical, timely issues, from advancing diplomacy in the Middle East to the role of the private sector in combating the refugee crisis. But –

a particular focus this year will lie on Africa, with the 2018 Annual Summit serving as a framework to guide evolving discussions around the African continent and foster a community of partnership-oriented stakeholders.

By elevating African voices, the Concordia Annual Summit will strive to create a safe, diplomatic space for cross-sector leaders to share strategies and priorities for African economic growth, to promote innovative cross-sector partnerships, and to build connections and identify opportunities to create lasting change on the ever-changing and quickly-growing continent.

The Annual Summit will host an array of African leadership, including current and former heads of state, as well as private sector executives. Prominent speakers include Monica Geingos, First Lady of Namibia, Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, and H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria.

Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, at the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit. Photo provided by Concordia.

The African continent is rich with diversity and potential, but sustainable and efficient economies—along with collaborative and inclusive communities—must be built from the ground up and, crucially, be African-led. With a wealth of ideas and innovations existing across the continent, a key area of focus for the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit will be the unparalleled benefits of youth employment in fostering economic development.

The UN has projected that by 2050, the world population will have grown by 2.2 billion people. 1.3 billion of those people will be African. A rapidly-expanding population has obvious implications for the labor force, but it is important to look at the demographic makeup at play as well.

In 2010, 63% of Africa’s population was below the age of 25, and according to the International Labor Organization, the number of Africans aged 15-24 will double by 2050. Recent statistics on unemployment among Sub-Saharan young people show an average of 10.8%, yet 70% of working youth in Africa still live below the global poverty line.

These stark numbers depict a complex challenge: how do African leaders ensure that job creation for young people keeps pace with the profound continental population growth, while supporting adequate workforce development, entrepreneurship, and productivity in the coming years?

The Concordia Annual Summit will provide an international platform for African leaders to share their insight on the potential for youth employment to drive economic development on the continent, and examine the importance of different sectors working collaboratively and cohesively to improve young people’s access to skills development and financing mechanisms.

It will also examine the role of financial inclusion, technology, and data analysis across the continent, as well as Asian-African ties in investment, trade, and infrastructure.

For more information about the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit, including how to attend, click here.
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