Spotlighting the actions and role of youth to build a better future for Guinea-Bissau 

November 9, 2021

Photo: UNDP, 2021

The fourth Youth Connekt Africa Summit 2021 took place under the auspices of the Government of Ghana from the 20-23 October 2021. The 3-day theme “Africa Beyond Aid: Positioning the Youth for the Post-COVID Economy and AfCFTA Opportunities" created a space for dialogue and engagement with policymakers on young people’s place in Africa’s recovery post-COVID-19.

Several African countries participated in the Summit including Guinea-Bissau. The Guinea-Bissau delegation was composed of 5 members led by Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, Hon. Florentino Fernando Dias and Mr Tjark Marten Egenhoff, the Resident Representative of UNDP Guinea-Bissau. Three dynamic young leaders represented the youth namely, Anicet Ateba, Marketing Director TAGARA magazine & Morança founding member, Nailde Lopes, Founder of Cantina Nutribem, and Husseinata Xie-Na Mendes Tavares, a Social Worker and Representative of Guinea-Bissau at the International Centre for Girls and Women at the African Union.

Photo: UNDP, 2021

 Shining a spotlight on the youth delegates to the Youth Conneckt Africa Summit 2021

Anicet Ateba is a graphic designer, founding member, and marketing and communication director at TAGARA magazine. He is also a founding member and communication lead at MORANÇA, a non-profit organization that works for local entrepreneurs. The organization seeks to find its initial source of funding by providing services such as co-working spaces, access to microcredit, and database management to new and emerging businesses. It also aims to facilitate access to microcredit for young entrepreneurs through banks and other organizations. The non-profit is resolved to become an Impact hub and the first Impact center in Guinea Bissau.

Doctor Nailde Lopes is a Medical entrepreneur and CEO of Cantina Nutribem. Cantina Nutribem is a company, which aims to compensate for the lack food accessibility, poor hygiene, and food preservation in hospitals by offering meals made from natural and local products that provide better nutrition for in-patients. The company is currently operating in the largest hospitals in Guinea-Bissau. Cantina Nutribem was the first laureate of the entrepreneurship competition organized by the Accelerator Lab of UNDP Guinea-Bissau.

Husseinata Xie-na Mendes Tavares is a social worker and social activist for the Human Rights of women and children. Deputy Coordinator of the ‘’Mindjer I ka Tambur Movement’’ MIKAT and member of several civil society organizations, she is involved in the protection and promotion of the rights of children and women.

Photo: UNDP, 2021

MIKAT is a non-profit non-governmental organization that aims to raise awareness of women’s human rights in Guinean society, crackdown on gender-based violence, and advocate for the denunciation of harmful and violent practices committed against women and girls in Guinea-Bissau.
The non-profit recently launched the project "Suta Mindjer Kaba Dja!" Funded by UNDP, via the NaNôMon Platform.

The youth as key drivers of the emerging socio-economic opportunities.

Clearly, the potential for young people in Guinea-Bissau is at the heart of its national development agenda. Accordingly, the youth representatives during the Summit challenged African leaders to move beyond commitments to implementation in a deliberate way that nurtures the potential of young people, enabling them to harness their creativity, innovation, and unique entrepreneurship spirit, for the continent's prosperity.

The 2021 Youth Connekt Summit closed with a resounding call to ensure that, formulation and implementation of policies are more inclusive and representative of Africa’s largest population – young people.  Eminent panellists, including youth leaders from various sectors across the continent, pointed out that for Africa to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis and leapfrog its socio-economic trajectory, policies that support the emerging opportunities through the AfCFTA must be reflective of the needs and contexts of young people.