Rome, October 19th 2023- In the framework of the Youth4Climate Initiative, RES4Africa Foundation hosted in Rome the second Youth Task Force in person meeting. The three-day gatherings provided a space for structured discussion about the empowerment of African youth in the energy transition on the continent. Young Africans active in the field of renewable energy and representatives of the institutional and private sectors analysed key topics of a youth-driven energy transition.
Since its inception, RES4Africa and its members have been investing in building the capacities of young African professionals, believing that they can offer groundbreaking solutions for the energy transition of their communities and countries. These meetings addressed the challenge of involving young people in the higher decision-making layers and institutions, where their voices can be heard and translated into concrete policymaking actions.
The discussions touched on key themes of Africa’s youth, like capacity building, the water-energy-food nexus, gender inclusion, innovation, and finance. These dialogues highlighted the importance of African youth in driving the energy transition and addressed ways to bridge the gap between education and job opportunities. Another key issue that was explored was how to enhance local capacity so that renewable energy can be more readily implemented. The attendees shared various ideas, including implementing capacity-building practises and mentoring programmes, as well as empowering start-ups. Additionally, the attendees had the opportunity to meet with each team of the foundation and learn about ongoing and upcoming projects.
The gathering was the occasion to present the outcomes of this year's RES4Africa’s Youth Survey, conducted in collaboration with PwC, during the Youth4Climate panel, Empowering Youth for Climate and Ambition. The respondents, coming from 36 African countries and all aged between 24 and 30 with different educational backgrounds (Engineering and STEM, Economics and Finance, Social Sciences and Humanities), believe in the importance of developing skills for the transition towards sustainable energy. They recognise the need for both technical and managerial skills in this field and express a strong demand for training opportunities to acquire those skills. They also emphasise the importance of practical experience through internships and scholarships. Young people seem to view renewable energy as a promising and impactful sector and desire to contribute significantly to its advancement. They expect companies in the sector to play a crucial role in providing internship opportunities and supporting professional development programmes. Overall, the survey underlines that a confident, young, and competent workforce is capable of being at the forefront and actively engaged in driving the transition towards a more sustainable and prosperous energy future.
"As we mark this significant milestone for the RES4Africa's Youth Task Force, let us remember that the power to shape the future of Africa's energy and climate action rests in the hands of the young generation. With the continent facing pressing challenges of energy access and climate change, it is crucial for the youth to play a key role in guiding policymakers towards a just energy transition.” said Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General of RES4Africa, “We must prioritise discussions and solutions to the major challenges facing young people in education, training, entrepreneurship, and access to finance. By fostering sustainable partnerships, we can work together to address these challenges and build a better, more equitable future for all.”
“In the face of climate change's daunting challenge and the pursuit of accessible energy, empowering the youth isn't merely an option—it's an imperative” commented Giovanni Formicola, Youth Task Force Coordinator at RES4Africa.
“Investing in the youth to address climate action and the energy transition now is definitely one of the best ways we can guarantee the future.” said Norah Magero, member of RES4Africa's Youth Task Force “The Task force couldn’t have come at a better time!”