Rwanda will this week host the 10th Anniversary of YouthConnekt, a platform created to connect the youth with their peers, leaders, role models, skills and resources to promote employability, access to finance, civic engagement and entrepreneurship opportunities. Since the initiative was launched back in 2012, it has achieved a lot, where available statistics indicate that a lot of impact has already been witnessed, including mobilising at least four million youth who have over the past decade participated in community-led projects through activities organised under the YouthConnekt Month and holidays programme. ALSO READ YouthConnekt 2021: Youth urged to take lead in Africa's transformation Another notable achievement is the creation of over 36,000 direct jobs for the Rwandan youth, among many other milestones to be celebrated at an event slated for Wednesday August 23, at Intare Conference Arena. Over 2,000 youth from all parts of the country will attend the event. However, the most compelling achievement that YouthConnekt can boast of is the fact that it has been broadened to become a pan-African initiative, and currently has at least 32 countries under its YouthConnekt Africa brand. ALSO READ: How African youth can propel the success of AfCFTA This is what Africa needs and deserves and it should not have come from a better place than a youth-led initiative. It is even coming at a time when discussions are being had around having the youth actively participate and leverage on continental projects such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to create wealth for the continent. With the youth in Africa currently at 65 per cent of the population, there is simply no luxury of leaving them behind. They must be the driving force behind the continent’s quest for self-determination and this can only happen if they are empowered enough. ALSO READ AfCFTA: Five challenges limiting youth from engaging in trade It is therefore important that the political class on the continent to make deliberate efforts by addressing the pain points inhibiting our youth as elaborated at an ongoing youth Summit in Zambia. Some of these points include the fact that most youth still want to flood the labour market as employees instead of broadening their minds to become entrepreneurs, which will then put them in a better position to benefit from initiatives like AfCFTA. However, to succeed as entrepreneurs, they need to be better prepared in terms of training, and facilitated to overcome recurrent challenges such as access to capital. A well-facilitated movement of African youth will inevitably help achieve her aspirations. They also need more links to opportunity.