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Latest news and announcements

Updates from Project Pakati, its networking platform and community of practice

Profiling Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organisations

Profiling Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organisations

The African Leadership Institute, through Pakati, is developing a directory to assist African NGO's led by and serving the youth of the continent. Titled the African Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organizations Portal, the project recognises the impact youth-led organizations have: It provides an important outlet for employment, being run and staffed by young people, and they ignite active citizenry and volunteerism at community levels. But these types of organisations face challenges. They are generally poorly-funded, because donors and funders have difficulty finding and identifying these organisations.  Additionally, youth-led and youth-serving organizations do not leverage lessons learnt by other similar organizations, as information-sharing opportunities are limited. Governments also do not acknowledge the important contributions these organizations make, resulting in young people becoming frustrated at not getting credit or support for their role in improving the social and economic development of their communities.

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Former Youth Advisory Board Member a 2019 United Nations SDG Advocate

Former Youth Advisory Board Member a 2019 United Nations SDG Advocate

A former Pakati Youth Advisory Board member, Edward Ndopu, joins a storied group of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocates.  On 9 May 2019, UN Secretary General António Guterres announced the new class for 2019.  Edward (Eddie) Ndopu served on the Project Pakati Youth Advisory Board from June 2018 - January 2019. He is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning human rights advocate, and was recently named by MTV as one of the most powerful disabled people on the planet. Eddie is the former Head of Amnesty International’s Africa Youth Program and is a former Researcher for the World Economic Forum.

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Pan-African Leadership Directory Launch

Pan-African Leadership Directory Launch

In August 2018, the African Leadership Institute launched its seminal report titled: An Abundance of Young African Leaders, but No Seat at the Table at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya. Fast forward to 2019, AFLI launched a fully-searchable directory built on the data in the report.  It lists all of the organisations providing leadership development training to young African leaders.

The problem with many directories, however, is finding anything useful.  In the leadership directory, it is possible to search by any piece of text, by programme type, region, country, alphabetically, sponsors or a range of other datasets - and get a list.

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Project Pakati attends the 2nd Pan-African Youth Forum

Project Pakati attends the 2nd Pan-African Youth Forum

Project Pakati staff attended the launch of the Africa Union Commission (AUC) 1 million by 2021 Initiative at the 2nd Pan-African Youth Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from April 24-27. We were invited by the AUC and African Union Youth Envoy. The forum was attended by more than 400 youths representing more than 50 African countries. All were in favour of the newly-launched AUC 1 Million by 2021 Initiative, which was rolled out under the theme: Africa Unite for Youth: Bridging the gap and Reaching African Youth.

The initiative was headed by the AUC chair Moussa Faki Mahamat and is aimed at generating action for youth development in Africa by providing one million young Africans with opportunities in its four key areas.

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Announcement of selected ChangeLeads & ChangeMakers

Announcement of selected ChangeLeads & ChangeMakers

To develop and roll out projects Pakati has under way, AFLI has selected a number of ChangeLeads and ChangeMakers.  It selected four ChangeLeads and 150 ChangeMakers for the Youth Representation Inclusion Project; and three ChangeLeads and 100 ChangeMakers for the Portal of African Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organizations project.

The Project Pakati digital platform on Workplace by Facebook has gone live and they are now engaging in developing and co-creating solutions with other young leaders from across the continent. Project Pakati is pleased to announce the ChangeLeads who have committed to driving these two projects. Their profiles follow:

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Election of new Youth Advisory Board co-chairs

Election of new Youth Advisory Board co-chairs

Governance for AFLI's Pakati Project is provided by a Youth Advisory Board.  As stated in the Board terms of reference, the position of co-chair is valid for a period of 6 months only. Thereafter, the board co-chairs together with the secretariat (AFLI) are required to vote in a new set of co-chairs. This rotational arrangement has been put in place to allow the young leaders of the youth advisory board to be exposed to the experience of chairing a board and to leverage the experience for their growth and development. The co-chairs will support each other to achieve the objectives of the project and it is up to them to decide how they will collaborate and delegate tasks between themselves.

The newly elected board co-chairs, Maudo Jallow and Wadi Ben-Hirki, commenced their term in February 2019 replacing Raphael Obonyo and Rumbi Gunduza.

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Pakati puts out call for ChangeMakers and ChangeLeads

Pakati puts out call for ChangeMakers and ChangeLeads

For a continent that is the youngest in the world, young Africans are conspicuous by their absence at key deliberations that affect their futures. Because of this, Project Pakati is calling for ChangeMakers and ChangeLeads to work on a youth representation project.

There seems to be an understanding that youth are significant dividends of the continent’s population and that they need to be included in decision-making processes in various spaces, yet this is not happening. By not including them in decision-making processes, countries lose a crucial resource base. Young people can contribute a great deal through their perspectives and experiences; no governance structure can be truly successful without them.

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Panel discussion at Report launch on youth leadership

Panel discussion at Report launch on youth leadership

At the launch of the report in September 2018, An Abundance of Young African Leaders – But no Seat at The Table, a strong panel line-up discussed the report and examined questions on how young leaders are likely to be better represented and have input into decisions affecting the course of the continent.  The panel, which was led by  discussion was led by 2012 Tutu Fellow Julie Gichuru included 2006 Fellow Janah Ncube, 2018 Fellow Serah Makka-Ugbabe, David Kamau, Raphael Obonyo, Kanini Mutoomi and 2014 Fellow Lade Araba.   Raphael is the Co-Chair of the advisory board of AFLI’s Project Pakati initiative, which produced the report. 

The video below of the panel discussion was produced and aired on Julie's TV show, Africa Leadership Dialogues in October on Citizen TV Kenya, but has had a broader reach online. 

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Board members on 2018 Most Influential list

Board members on 2018 Most Influential list

Two of Pakati's Youth Advisory Board members have been selected for inclusion on the Most Influential Young Africans list for 2018 compiled by Africa Youth Awards. The two board members are Wadi Victoria Ben-Hiriki, founder of the Wadi Ben-Hiriki Foundation, and Raphael Obonyo, an award-winning Kenyan youth advocate and founder of Youth Congress Kenya. 

The Youth Awards list from which the one hundred young achievers are compiled are nominees from 26 African countries.

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African youth initiatives Report launch

African youth initiatives Report launch

The African Leadership Institute conducted research on the state of African youth leadership initiatives. The report launch was held on the August 28th, 2018, in Nairobi, Kenya at the Strathmore University, titled An Abundance of Young African Leaders – But no Seat at The Table. The hashtag for the launch, #SameTableNewSeats, sparked much interest on social media platforms and trended on Twitter that day.

The report was officially launched by Dr Vincent Ogutu, Vice-Chancellor Designate of Strathmore University, with keynote speakers, Dr Patricia Murugami and Rosemary Okello also of Strathmore Business School and Margaret Mliwa of the Ford Foundation.

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The birth of Project Pakati - the name

The birth of Project Pakati - the name

The past decade has seen the emergence of a number of initiatives focused on developing new leaders on the African continent. But new leaders, in and of themselves, cannot have an impact on the direction of the continent if they remain on the periphery rather than at the centre where decisions are made and implemented. For a continent that is disproportionally young, young leaders are woefully missing at the centre.

The questions linger: “How do we ensure more young leaders are at the centre? If leaders are on the periphery and not at the centre - how can they raise their voices in a way that can be heard and makes a difference? How can they influence decision-making at the centre?”

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Inaugural Youth Advisory Board & Curators Meeting

Inaugural Youth Advisory Board & Curators Meeting

The African Leadership Institute hosted their first Inaugural Youth Advisory Board and Curators meeting, in Johannesburg, South Africa, from the 11th-13th July 2018. The meeting welcomed the newly-elected Youth Advisory Board members representing young African leaders from across the continent who are passionate in addressing and working in youth mobilization. The selected Youth Advisory Board members were elected through a competitive process working with grassroot level organizations as well as using a referral and nomination system from AFLI’s existing stakeholders.

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Youth Advisory Board assembled

Youth Advisory Board assembled

The Youth Advisory Board for the Ford Foundation-funded Pan African leadership project will play a critical role in the governance of the project. The board has been intentionally constituted up front at the start of the grant project to provide strategic inputs and provide overall guidance of the project and its implementation.

Two ex officio members will sit on the board in addition to the eminent young Africans on the board. The first is a member of AFLI - which is the grant recipient.  The second is a member of the African Union Commission’s Youth Division.

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AFLI hires Project Manager

AFLI hires Project Manager

The African Leadership Institute has hired Bridgette Mdangayi to lead the Ford Foundation grant-funded leadership initiative.  AFLI was awarded the $800 000 grant in 2017. The grant is to network young leaders from across Africa in order to obtain critical mass for young leaders and enable them to have an impact on the direction of the continent.

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Ford Foundation grant award

Ford Foundation grant award

The Ford Foundation has awarded a grant to the African Leadership Institute to help young African leaders across the continent reach critical mass in influencing the direction the continent is headed.  The $800,000 grant will be used to assist AFLI in networking young leaders across the continent as well as set up a community of practice so that solutions developed by young leaders can be shared and replicated. The grant was awarded and accepted by AFLI in the last quarter of 2017 for disbursement over a three-year period. 

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