Editor’s Note: August 21, 2018

Africa’s youth won’t empower itself

“You are the ministers, presidents and leaders of tomorrow…now is the time to prepare for that role.” This was Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s message to the country’s youth this week.

He added a call to action, imploring young people to invest in themselves in order to take on the mantle of leadership tomorrow.

It’s common refrain. 

With 60% of Africa’s population believed to be under the age of 25 the youth is regularly touted as the solution to the continent’s development problems. 

Exactly how isn’t clear.

The advice from the current generation of political and business leaders is often vague, amounting to little more than ‘go out and make it happen.’ Much of the emphasis is on entrepreneurship, which is put forward as a fix for everything from unemployment to food security.

It seems all that’s needed is is a can-do attitude, a startup idea, and a smartphone. 

If only it was that easy.

In reality many of africa’s youths, regardless of how self-motivated they may be, are hamstrung by a familiar checklist of development problems inherited from the current crop of leaders.

There is no doubt that Africa is full of entrepreneurial, resourceful young people, but they won’t just empower themselves.

From The Continent

A high profile inquiry into alleged influence peddling under former South African president Jacob Zuma started in Johannesburg on Monday. It will probe whether the controversial Gupta family secured government contracts through its relationship with Zuma. More: Anadolu Agency 

Zambia has signed an agreement with Ethiopian Airlines to revive its defunct national carrier, Zambia Airways, which was liquidated in 1994. Ethiopian will own 45% of the venture, which will have an initial cost of $30m, with plans to operate 12 planes by 2028. More: Africanews

The Daily Stat


The share Africa could contribute to global volume and profit growth in the beer industry over the next decade. More: Washington Post

The Global Perspective

Ghana’s finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said the country will keep its public finances under the scrutiny of the IMF after its current three-year $918m programme with the lender ends. The government of president Nana Akufo-Addo has made fiscal consolidation priority following the discovery of a $1.6bn budget hole when he took office in January 2017. More: Bloomberg 

Standard Chartered is reportedly in talks to sell is private equity business to Intermediate Capital Group. This is part of of a broader disposal by the emerging markets-focused company, which has a strong presence in Africa. More: Reuters

The Daily Follow

Bobi Wine @HEBobiwine: Ugandan musician turned politician, currently at the centre of escalating tensions between the ruling and opposition parties.