NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the inspiring stories of exceptional young Africans, we find narratives that defy expectations and illuminate the boundless potential of the continent.
At the Unstoppable Africa Summit on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly last week, a powerful cohort of young African women trailblazers shattered conventions and revealed a captivating narrative that challenges preconceived notions of the continent and its impact on a global stage.
Meet three dynamic, young African women crafting the continent’s anti-narrative globally and setting the stage for a future that celebrates innovation, resilience, and the unstoppable spirit of a continent poised for transformation.
Growing up with connections to both the United States and Ghana, Deniece Laurent-Mantey, Special Advisor on the U.S. Africa’s Leaders Summit Implementation at the US State Department and former Director of Africa at the White House, recognized early the importance of unity between Africans and African Americans. Her unique perspective and relentless dedication to fostering collaboration are driving forces in building bridges between continents and helping put Africa at the center of global policy. Her insights into preserving Africa’s cultural richness resonate especially with Africa’s youth, who are eager to embrace their heritage while forging new global connections.
During the session, she remarked, “The currency of our generation is Africa’s innovation. People are now beginning to embrace Africa’s culture, its diversity, and its heritage. But the key thing is that we have to protect that ownership. We have to do what we can to tell our story.”
Chido Mpemba, the African Union’s Special Envoy on Youth, embodies the boundless potential of Africa’s youth and innovation. Appointed as the youngest senior official in the history of the African Union and the youngest diplomat in the cabinet, Mpemba’s advocacy for youth development issues in Africa has earned her global recognition as a driving force behind African youth empowerment.
“Africa’s youth are driving social and economic change across the continent and around the world,” she emphasized. “As much as we still have our challenges in Africa that we’re trying to meet, it doesn’t mean that young Africans do not deserve to be on the global stage. We are change-makers, and partnerships enabling us to catalyze meaningful social and policy change are essential.”
One such global changemaker is Areej Noor. Born to a prominent global women’s rights activist turned political strategist, Noor’s childhood was rich with stories of powerful women from around the world. This upbringing inspired her to build an inclusive global community of influential African women creatives through Statement. “Our mission is to bridge the gap between African and diaspora women filmmakers and the international market,” Noor passionately declared. “It’s about amplifying African voices on a global scale, unlocking untapped opportunities for creativity and commerce.”I think the people who are going to make a difference today are the people who are going to partner to build the infrastructure and pipelines that we need for us to see the outcomes we want to see for the next 10, 15, or 100 years.”
In a continent with unmatched potential, the power of partnership, especially with African institutions, is truly a vital catalyst for progress. These collaborations pave the way for sustainability and local ownership of Africa’s narratives, unlocking new dimensions of growth and development that echo both locally and globally.
The potential of young people to drive transformation is at the heart of this evolving narrative. Organizations like the Mastercard Foundation, which co-created the session and is committed to securing employment for 30 million young Africans by 2030, underscore the importance of investing in Africa’s youth, whose contributions will be pivotal to the global landscape in the years to come.
By 2050, one out of every four people on Earth will be African. This will shape geopolitics, world economics, global trade, migration, and almost every aspect of life. With some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a young, digitally connected population reshaping the global landscape, we recognize that exceptional young Africans like these are not merely rewriting the narrative; they are shaping our shared future.
As we celebrate these incredible Africans, their journeys serve as powerful reminders of the endless promise of Africa, and their stories underscore the limitless possibilities that await the continent. Together, their aspirations and accomplishments paint a vibrant portrait of a thriving and dynamic Africa demanding the world’s attention.
Watch the Incredible Africans session here.
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