Young People Take Centre Stage at Youth Summit in Kigali

KIGALI - Today’s generation of young people is not only the most numerous but also the most connected. Their potential to bring positive change to all is unprecedented. However, the digital gap affecting young people in the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is preventing their participation as equal partners alongside the leaders of today’s digital change. They must be empowered with the skills and opportunities to realise their untapped potential.

To strengthen the involvement of young people in bridging the digital divide, the Generation Connect Global Youth Summit took place from 2 to 4 June 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda. In attendance were hundreds of young leaders, entrepreneurs, change-makers, engineers, policy specialists, students, business leaders, decision-makers, and community advocates between the ages of 15 and 29.
Across the three-day summit, discussions addressed digital skills, gender equality, climate change, online safety, the future of work, entrepreneurship, digital dependency, and more.

Joined by government and private sector representatives at an intergenerational dialogue at the summit titled “Mind the Gap, turning equality into reality,” Acting High-Representative, Heidi Schroderus-Fox spoke about UN-OHRLLS’ support for young people in realising the Doha Programme of Action for the LDCs. She said “My office is working with partners, including youth networks, to build their storytelling, public speaking and negotiating skills ahead of the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs in Doha.” She added “Our aim is to share their needs, ideas and solutions thus contributing to the achievement of goals set in the Doha Programme of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

Among the topics addressed at the inter-generational dialogue were the acceleration of digital transformation across society, how technology can ensure gender equality and lift barriers to digital gender inclusion.

In the lead up to the summit, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) coordinated 2 years of consultations with young people from across the world, to create a call to action launched at the end of the summit. The call to action, entitled “My Digital Future”, stemmed from regional discussions and six regional Youth Declarations, global webinars with the Generation Connect community and a four-week online global consultation open to all young people.

Watch a recording of the inter-generational dialogue here: 

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