Sharing by Isabel dos Santos

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by Isabel dos Santos

Empowering the next generation of African champions

Young Talent

The world population has never had so many young people. This is the largest generation of young people the world has ever seen. Therefore, there is enormous human potential. We must believe in this generation, give them the tools to exceed themselves and do things they never thought possible.

All of us – entrepreneurs, governments, corporations – must invest in youth: education, employment, career opportunities... the future. If we do this, just imagine the development leap that we could bring to all African nations.

Young people involved in the continent’s future

Today’s youth understand the value of education, of knowledge, as the start of everything. They are eager to grab every opportunity that arises so that one day they will be a force that can transform the African continent. I am increasingly approached by young people seeking opportunities, asking for advice and chasing their dream. And to share this journey with so many young people is truly gratifying.

Education as the start of everything

Above all else young people demand access to quality education. Although bringing literacy to people is still very important, we need to focus on quality education: vocational training programs, highly specialised university education and research. Young people who receive a good university education become independent adults, capable of thinking for themselves, of creating their own projects, generating wealth and, consequently, purchasing power and savings awareness. These are the people who will drive their countries and the continent.

Other concern of young people is deciding whether States are establishing the structural conditions that will give them the confidence to place their abilities and skills at the service of the country.

These young people will want to be entrepreneurs, to have a voice in society, to be influential... and we can only build Africa’s future with them.

Young people have the most influential voice on the continent

We must listen to young people and we must give them a voice. A young person’s energy, creativity and ability to dream are very inspiring for everyone. They do not merely demand economic development for their countries: financial wealth is no longer their sole motivation. They have expectations in terms of values, principles and ethics. What they want is sustainable development. They are demanding and determined.

Whenever I can I get close to students because their energy inspires me greatly and I hope to give back to them.... not only with my experience and advice, but above all through the job and training opportunities I strive to create. That is the commitment I have made to my country and continent.