International: Monday, August 6, 2018: The Fifth COMESA Annual Research Forum started today in Nairobi with over 50 leading policy think tanks, the academia, and the private sector representatives from the 21 COMESA Member States participating.
The Forum is anchored under the theme: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend for Social Economic Transformation and Deep Regional Integration in COMESA through Academia-Industry Linkages.”
The experts will review and discuss 11 research papers that have been developed by researchers on key regional integration issues focusing on the Digital Economy in the context of the Tripartite and African Continental Free Trade Areas.
The Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade in Kenya, Dr. Chris Kiptoo described the Forum as an opportunity to contribute to policy development and interventions on regional integration and trade development.
“Our coming together today is purposely to share knowledge and deliberate on empirical issues on how to harness the youth demographic dividends for the socio-economic transformation of our region,” he said.
The UN estimates that Africa will make up a quarter of the world population by 2050 with an average 60% of the population being under 24 years. With almost 200 million people aged 15–24, Africa has the youngest population in the world and that number will double by 2045.