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Year of Global Africa: Youth Empowerment Program Youth Leadership Summit, June 11-13, 2019
Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019
All day
Kellogg Center, MSU
Event Details:

MSU's Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) is collaborating with the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) to host the second annual Youth Leadership Summit in East Lansing from June 11-13, 2019. Please direct inquiries to the conference organizers at: GYANconf(at)

Early Bird Registration: February 11 to 28, 2019 (Invited Youth Delegate: $199)

Regular Registration: March 1 to 15, 2019 ($299)

Background: At present, 1.8 billion of the world's population are youth between the ages of 10 and 24. Eighty seven percent of these young people live in less developed countries. The energy and innovative capacities of these young people, especially concentrated as they are in countries whose overall populations are more youthful, offer potential for economic prosperity, if invested in. The unprecedented levels of unemployment and disenfranchisement is a critical challenge, one that is no longer a concern for the future. It is here, staring at all of us in the face and worsening the longer we wait to act. Today, it no longer matters where you live, the burdens of unemployment, migration, rising inequality, and decreasing democratization is affecting all of us. For too many, being young means being unemployed, excluded from decision-making, limited in their access to productive resources such as financing and land – and, as a result, more vulnerable to unemployment, poverty and sometimes violence and acts of extremism.

It is in response to this crisis that MSU's Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) is collaborating with the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) to host the second annual Youth Leadership Summit in East Lansing from July 13-15, 2018. The inaugural Youth Agribusiness, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship Summit on Innovation summit (YALESI) occurred in Dakar, Senegal in 2016. While the summit was very successful, with over 250 youth in attendance from over 30 countries, one of the major critiques of the event was that the summit did not provide enough opportunities for the youth to operate as full contributors and to fully show-case and express themselves. Young people are asking for a place at the table and have some common recurring requests that the 2018 summit is seeking:

• Infrastructure, such as youth innovation labs and technology hubs to promote skill acquisition within countries

• An enabling environment that promotes youth livelihoods in the agri-food system and other sectors in the broader economy

• A medium to effectively advocate for access to finance, electricity, land, training, and other resources necessary for them to succeed

Goal To create an environment for young leaders to brainstorm, question, challenge, innovate and collaborate on a range of global issues.


● To provide a venue for young people to exchange ideas and innovative practices that support the scaling and replication of successful youth-led enterprises.

● To provide a forum for young entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative products and services

● To provide young people with a platform to pitch their business ventures to investors

● To facilitate and equip young people with the tools and networks they need to work together to collectively define their future

● To build the capacity of nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies to enable young women and men to be involved in policies and programs that affect their lives and their livelihoods.