Youth Pre-Conference 2023: 250 Young Professionals to Chart the Future of Healthcare in Africa

As the continent with the world’s largest demographic of young people, with at least 65% of the Continent population under the age of 30, Africa has
an opportunity for its growth – but only if these new generations are fully empowered to realize their best potential. It is especially important that young people are included in decision-making and given appropriate opportunities to work and to innovate. Youth innovation and participation in health systems are vital to building a safer and healthier Africa. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is actualising this to forge innovative solutions for health security through initiatives like the AU COVID-19 Vaccination Bingwa Initiative.

In December 2022, Africa CDC convened the inaugural Youth Pre-Conference (YPC) on the margins of the 2nd Annual International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA), kicking off long-term strategic engagement with Africa’s young professionals in various domains of healthcare, technology, policy and advocacy, to advance sustainable health systems in the continent. The conference themed “Meaningful Youth Engagement
for Advancing Sustainable Health Security in Africa” brought about the creation of Africa CDC’s inaugural Youth Advisory Team for Health (YAT4H), an immediate response to the consensus that the youth must be involved in decision-making at all levels in tandem with nurturing a new generation of conscious and well versed public health leaders.
The Youth Pre-Conference demonstrates Africa CDC’s resolve and commitment to a youth-centered approach to the actualisation and implementation of the New Public Health Order for Africa in line with Agenda 2063, most specifically “Development cannot be achieved without adequate investment in healthcare. With the current demographics, healthy young people will provide a labor base that is able to impact transformation through their engagement in work, innovation and entrepreneurial aspirations”.

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