As an instrument of economic integration, AfCFTA is expected to aid free movement of goods, services, and persons across the African continent through the removal of both tariff and non-tariff barriers. This initiative underscores the relentless efforts of African leaders to achieve Agenda 2063 – a framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa.
Specifically, AfCFTA is expected to connect about 1.3 billion people in 55 African countries and create a strong African economic bloc that is worth $3.4trillion, which will remain the largest economic bloc in the world. But what does this mean for young people in Nigeria especially from the Lens of Digital rights and Digital security?
These were the focus of the Policy Dialogue, #TheAgoraByYouPaD, on “Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement: Youth, Digital Rights and Digital Security” which was hosted by @YouPaD and #FriedrichEbertStiftung on 20 June 2022.
An increasing number of Nigerians are using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) on a regular basis, which has made digital technologies a significant tool in driving socio-economic development. With AfCFTA as an initiative to drive Africa’s economic integration, ICT or digitalization is at the center of promoting of common African market. With about 60% youth population, this demography is not only important to Africa’s economic growth and development; they are also major stakeholders in driving a common African market as well as fulfilling the aspirations of Agenda 2063. In fact, it is largely impossible to achieve the “Africa we want” without the youth demography. Despite all the structural challenges, young people in Nigeria continue to break barriers to drive technological development in different spaces, including e-commerce, MedTech, EdTech, FinTech, among others.
Experts and Participants agreed that to achieve the goals and aspirations of AfCFTA, Policy Leaders must fully embrace, promote, and protect digital rights and security, providing an enabling environment that allows innovations and ideas to thrive.
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