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The 26th World Economic Forum on Africa will convene in Kigali, Rwanda, from 11-13 May, under the theme Connecting Africa’s Resources Through Digital Transformation. During the meeting, regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society will discuss digital economy catalysts that can drive radical structural transformation and strengthen public-private collaboration on key global and regional challenges, and they will agree on strategic actions that can deliver shared prosperity across the continent.

The meeting comes at a critical time. Africa’s positive economic outlook is under pressure. Low global prices for major commodity exports, currency devaluations, debt sustainability considerations and geosecurity threats have weakened growth in some countries. This underscores the urgent need for economic diversification and the fact that Africa’s leaders need to pursue new approaches to ignite structural transformation, particularly in the face of rapid technological changes that have the potential to create new industries and reduce inequality. 

Investing in youth is key to ecomonic growth in many countries in Africa and around the world. UNFPA is dedicated to working with partners, including civil society, communities and governments, to encourage policies that can help realize this growth. Such policies include improving access to quality education and jobs, as well as investing in the health, particularly the sexual and reproductive health, of young people.