The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) ended on a high note after African, Japanese and other leaders agreed on Sunday to carry out more international actions to empower youth and women to achieve a demographic dividend and transform Africa.
The leaders emphasized that youth empowerment was vital way of improving human capital and also bring about peace building by preventing radicalization.
“1 in every 3 persons in Africa is aged 10-24 years, chances are that this trend will continue until at least 2060. Their health and productivity will make or break demographic dividend for Africa,” Dr. Natalia Kanem, Deputy Executive Director (Programme) of, the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA said.
“It is vital and urgent to invest in Africa’s human capital, especially its women and young people, to change Africa’s economic and development pictures quicker,” she remarked.
Speaking at a TICAD related event Dr. Kanem continued, “It is estimated that girls completing secondary school in Kenya would add about $27 billion to the economy over their lifetimes. And if sub-Saharan Africa repeated the experience of some East Asian nations by making the right investments in young people, it could realize a demographic dividend of about $500 billion a year, for 30 years.”
The National Council for Population and Development NCPD on the same note has called for an all-inclusive approach in order to achieve social equality.
“By harnessing the demographic dividend, more savings and investments and ultimately economic development would be achieved,” said the Director General NCPD Josephine Kibaru-Mbae.
The Nairobi Declaration signed during the TICAD VI emphasized on the need for efforts to increase global funding to strengthen country and community led health systems to ensure services to all individuals throughout their lives.
Heads of State, governments and delegations from 54 African countries, Japan, 74 international organizations and 52 other partners attended the conference.