The symposium highlighted the crucial role of young leaders in shaping urban futures, with a focus on sustainability and resilience.

Singapore, 2 June 2024 – H.E. Ms. Madiepetsane Charlotte Lobe, the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa in Singapore, attended the World Cities Summit (WCS) Young Leaders Symposium. This event gathered a select group of change-makers aged 20 to 35 from various sectors, including government, business, media, and academia. These young leaders were recognized for their contributions to leadership and their efforts to shape the global urban agenda.

During the symposium, Mr. Alvin Tan, Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Minister of State for Culture, Community, and Youth, delivered an impactful speech. He emphasized the importance of youth in building resilient cities, noting that the urban population is rapidly increasing, with two-thirds of the world’s people expected to live in cities within 25 years. Minister Tan also discussed Singapore’s initiatives in community building and climate change mitigation. He highlighted the significance of Africa’s young and rapidly growing population, which is expected to double by 2050, making Africa the fastest-urbanizing region globally.

The High Commissioner’s participation underscores South Africa’s focus on youth development, a key priority over the past 30 years of democracy. She addressed the generational leadership gap in Africa, where 60% of the population is under 24 years old, while the average age of leaders is 64. This gap poses challenges for youth inclusion in decision-making and harnessing their potential for Africa’s growth.

Source: South African High Commission, Singapore