Human Capital Development

Press Release: 1 Million by 2021 Initiative Launch

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Launch of the “1 Million by 2021 Initiative” at the Pan African Youth Forum themed “Africa Unite for Youth: Bridging the Gap and Reaching African Youth”


24th – 27th April 2019.


The African Union Commission, Addis Ababa Ethiopia


H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner for the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, private sector leaders, development partners, high profile innovators, and youth co-creators.


The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat will launch the “1 million by 2021 Initiative”, which targets direct investments in millions of African youth on four key elements of Employment, Entrepreneurship, Education and Engagement, through leveraging partnerships and private sector opportunities. The initiative will be launched through a Pan African Youth Forum themed “Africa Unite for Youth: Bridging the Gap and Reaching African Youth”.

Young people make up the bulk of Africa’s total population with an estimated 75% of the continent’s population below the age of 35. From a demographic point of view, this calls for a paradigm shift towards the recognition and support of the youth to harness their potential by building capacity for quality education and skills improvement, health and well-being, good governance, human rights and accountability, employment opportunities, leadership skills, empowerment and entrepreneurship. This is the basis for the prioritization of youth development by the African Union Commission, as evidenced by the 2017 theme of the year, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”.

Cognizant of the necessity to accelerate action on youth development in order to harness Africa’s huge youth potential, the Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat is launching the “1 million by 2021 Initiative” as a demonstration of the African Union’s commitment to young Africans. This initiative seeks to concretely provide opportunities in the key areas Employment, Entrepreneurship, Education and Engagement (4E’s) for millions of African Youth by the year 2021

Twelve pathways have been identified as drivers for the 4Es that will facilitate the expansion of opportunities in youth development: models for teacher development, mobilizing and catalyzing capital growth for youth-led start-ups; nurture start-ups; skills transfer hubs; internships and apprenticeships; digital skills; job centers; digital skills; leadership programs and exchange programmes.

The initiative will bring together key continental players in the development space and the private sector to pool together resources and opportunities, within a sustainable ecosystem built along collaborative and pan-African lines.


For further information, contact

Faith Adhiambo| Communications Officer- Agenda 2063 | African Union Commission I E-mail:

Mr. Kholekile Mnisi |Communications Officer- AUC Youth Division |Email |Tel +251 953148149


Edzai Conilias Zvobwo is passionate about empowering Africans through mathematics, problem-solving techniques and media. As such, he founded MathsGee. Through this organisation, he has helped create an ecosystem for disseminating information, training, and supporting STEM education to all African people. A maths evangelist who teaches mathematical thinking as a life skill, Edzai’s quest has seen him being named the SABC Ambassador for STEM; he has been invited to address Fortune 500 C-suite executives at the Mobile 360 North America; was nominated to represent Southern Africa at the inaugural United Nations Youth Skills Day in New York; was invited to be a contributor to the World Bank Group Youth Summit in 2016; has won the 2014 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development award for his contribution to women’s empowerment in education; and has partnered with local and global firms in STEM interventions.

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