The United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, opened Africa Week earlier this month by emphasising the importance of young people, women and girls in the continent’s future. Africa has the fastest growing population of young people in the world.
Guterres said, “We can help make the most of this demographic dividend through greater investments in education, especially in science and technology and by ensuring to enable youth participation in economic development. People need skills that match the needs of today and tomorrow.”
The event also talked about involving women and girls as essential for the future. Across the world, tens of billions of dollars a year are lost to gender inequality. It represents an amazing resource for all countries, certainly those that need it most.
Innovation is also necessary, as in the quote above about the skills needed in science and technology. Also in new approaches to the issues that face the African countries in areas such as economics and sustainability.
The UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 both have central themes of people and the planet, sustainability, peace, growth and inclusivity. The theme of Africa Week was ‘Supporting an Integrated, Prosperous, People-Centred and Peaceful Africa: Towards the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’
At the Gardiner Foundation we believe that innovation and sustainability can come from entrepreneurship and that self employment is the most effective way for someone to lift themselves, their family and their community from poverty.
We offer microinvestment and support to people who want to start or expand their own businesses. Microinvestment is different from microcredit and does not involve loans or interest payments.
Small, local businesses can tackle some of the biggest issues their country is facing and cause positive change in education, healthcare, poverty, the environment and infrastructure.