The Forum is organised by EASTECO in collaboration with Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Uganda National Council of Science and Technology and other stakeholders, will convene the 1st EAC Regional Youth Innovation Forum with innovation awards from 8th – 10th November 2022 in Kampala, Uganda.
According to the East African Community, in 2014, up to 34 per cent of the total population of five of the EAC partner states (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) was between 15 and 34 years of age, which is the active youth bracket. In 2016, South Sudan joined the Community, bringing the population of the region to 158 million.
With an overall population growth of around 2.9 per cent and the progress of the national education systems within the EAC region, the youth population is not only growing but it is also getting better education.
If this human capital is channelled toward productive and innovative sectors of the economy, the youth population will offer tremendous opportunities as a major instrument for the social and economic development of the EAC Partner States and for a high competitiveness on the global market.
However, failing to prepare and to harness the youth population as businessmen and worker transformation leaders would lead to significant threats to social and community cohesion as well as political and governmental stability. This, in turn, would significantly affect the regional integration agenda.
Therefore, EASTECO, being the lead institution for the EAC in developing and promoting technological innovation within partner states, has a critical role in ensuring that the region’s talented youth are promoted and become performing actors and future leaders for the industrial and enterprise sectors. In this regard, the Youth Innovation Forum will offer a platform to catalyse the effective engagement of young people in steering the course of future developments within the EAC.
To create a regional programme that will stimulate and support young innovators in generating scientific and technological innovative solutions to social needs and to meet market demand.