- Chido Mpemba is the youngest senior official in the African Union and advocates for young Africans to have a prominent role on the global stage.
- Deniece Laurent-Mantey, a Special Advisor at the US State Department, cites African innovation, culture, talent, and creativity in addressing global challenges.
- Areej Noor aims to bridge the gap between African and diaspora women filmmakers and the international market.
At the just-ending United Nations General Assembly, the Unstoppable Africa Summit showcased a group of exceptional young African women who are reshaping the narrative of Africa’s global influence.
These three remarkable individuals represent the forefront of a transformative era, one marked by innovation, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of a continent on the cusp of a new era.
Chido Mpemba, the youngest senior official ever appointed in the African Union and the cabinet’s youngest diplomat epitomizes Africa’s boundless youth potential. She advocates for amplifying the voices and aspirations of Africa’s young generation and believes that despite the continent’s challenges, young Africans deserve a prominent role on the global stage.
Africa’s global influence and potential
“As much as we still have our challenges in Africa that we’re trying to solve, it doesn’t mean that young Africans do not deserve to be on the global stage,” Mpemba, 35, noted during the session.
“We want to contribute, yes, on the continent, but we also want to contribute towards global development, and that will take us standing together as Africa. We have so many young people, and as much as they have all these ideas, many are not reaching their full potential because of the environment and lack of opportunities across the continent,” said Mpemba, a native of Zimbabwe.
Mpemba has earned recognition as one of the ‘100 Most Influential African Women,’ an honor that places her in the company of African Female Heads of States. Additionally, she has been named among the ‘Top 100 Under 40 Most Influential People of African Descent.’
Her professional background as a former corporate banker and her entrepreneurial ventures in the hospitality industry have shaped her into a multifaceted individual. She has evolved into a public policy expert with a strong emphasis on geopolitics while dedicating herself to the cause of eradicating global inequalities, with a particular focus on the youth.
Mpemba is the latest reminder of the need to harness the untapped potential within Africa’s youthful minds and overcome obstacles to provide opportunities for them.
Africa’s youthful minds
Deniece Laurent-Mantey, the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants in the US, serves as a Special Advisor on the Implementation of the US Africa’s Leaders Summit at the US State Department.
Her unique background bridges connections between Africa and the US, and her commitment lies in uniting Africans and African Americans. Laurent-Mantey stresses the importance of Africa’s innovation, culture, talent, and creativity in addressing global challenges, highlighting the African creative sector’s growing influence.
“The currency of our generation is Africa’s innovation,” she said at the summit. “People are increasingly embracing Africa’s culture, diversity, and heritage, but safeguarding our ownership of that narrative is paramount. We must value our work, for when we do, the world will value us,” Laurent-Mantey added, noting that the African creative sector has not gone unnoticed by US firms.
Creative talent on African continent
Areej Noor, born into a family deeply engaged in women’s rights activism and politics, is a Somali-American entrepreneur. She founded Statement, a company dedicated to creating a global community of influential African women creatives.
Noor aims to bridge the gap between African and diaspora women filmmakers and the international market. She recognizes the exceptional creative talent on the continent and underscores the importance of strategic partnerships to unlock opportunities and build essential infrastructure for long-term impact.
“The real crisis we face is one of opportunity. Those who will truly impact change are the ones willing to forge strategic partnerships and collaborate in building the essential infrastructure and pipelines required to manifest the desired outcomes over the next 10, 15, or even 100 years,” Noor explains.
In a continent brimming with potential, partnerships, particularly with African institutions, play a pivotal role in driving progress and sustainability. These collaborations empower local ownership of Africa’s narratives and foster growth, resonating both locally and globally.
The youth of Africa are at the heart of this evolving narrative, poised to lead profound transformations. Organizations like the Mastercard Foundation, co-creator of the Incredible Africans session, are committed to creating employment opportunities for 30 million young Africans by 2030.
Africa’s global influence
By 2050, one in every four people on Earth will be African, heralding a seismic transformation with far-reaching implications. With rapid economic growth and a digitally connected population, young Africans are reshaping the global landscape.
These extraordinary young Africans are not only rewriting our story but actively shaping our collective destiny. Their journeys exemplify Africa’s limitless promise and serve as a testament to the boundless possibilities awaiting our continent.
As we celebrate these exceptional Africans, their aspirations and achievements illuminate a vibrant and dynamic Africa that rightfully commands the world’s attention. Their success stories inspire us all, reminding us that Africa’s future is as bright as the dreams we dare to dream.