Top celeb, Bonang Matheba hosted the panel session on curbing poverty by empowering the youth this morning at the World Economic Forum being held in Durban.
Matheba put tough questions to the panel about taking action and not just talking when it comes to creating jobs for millions of unemployed youth across the continent.
Following the #Fees Must Fall protests in South Africa, she created the Bonang Matheba Foundation which assists young women in accessing tertiary education.
Challenges facing the youth raised by the panel including a mismatch between education and the skills needed by business, creating sustainable projects to drive employment and to scale up the rate of creating jobs.
Ghana's Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo said developing agriculture and agri-business can provide massive employment opportunities.
Bonang Matheba at #WEFAfrica2017. Picture: Supplied
"Africa imports US$35 billion of food and with the amount of land Africa has, we need to feed ourselves and this will create employment.
"We import US$400 million of rice per year, so we have decided to change this and are launching a project planting for food this month. We have also been training agricultural extension officers," said Marfo.
Nachilala Nkombo, Director of One Campaign which is an advocacy group to end extreme poverty in Africa, said ,"it is not business as usual. The pockets of unrest may continue to increase on the continent and there is a grave sense of urgency,"" while Jennifer Blanke, Jobs for Youth Initiative also said growing agri-businesses could provide many jobs.
"It is about supply and demand. We need to look at the education system and the curricula and see if a change in skill set is needed.:"
Partner at global leader, McKinsey & Company, Acha Leke also highlighted the need to look at skills required for employment.
"This is still the biggest issue. Our goal is to put one million youth into jobs over the next five years and this has to be demand driven by what industry needs. It also has to be sustainable and we are measuring the impact. There is a fundamental mismatch between educators and employers," said Leke.