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Inaugural Youth Advisory Board & Curators Meeting

YouthBoardCover

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.

They were chosen in mind of their respective work and experiences in youth participation, advocacy and communications, high level engagements etc. as well as their commitments towards empowering young people in their various communities.

The meeting also welcomed ten Curators, representing various youth organization and networks from across Africa. The Curators Platform was represented by organizations such as: LEAP Africa, LeO Africa Institute, USAID, Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa, YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, Mastercard Foundation, Acumen East Africa and UCT’s Building Bridges Programme. Other Curators that are part of the initiative but could not be present at the meeting included representatives of ALI, the Obama Foundation and Afrika Youth Movement.

The Inaugural meeting was the first meeting hosted under the Ford Foundation’s project grant to AFLI titled: Harnessing the Collective Influence of Africa’s Young Leaders through Building a Regional Networking Platform and Community of Practice. The overarching objective of the project aims to address the leadership deficit on the continent by raising a new generation of African leaders; to create spaces and opportunities where young people can identify synergies and engage resulting in the conceptualization and execution of collective agendas and activities that drive the African developmental agenda forward; to build a Community of Practice with curators of various African youth initiatives where collaboration can be explored; and, experiences and best practices that are documented and shared.

The Youth Advisory Board’s role in the achievement of this project will be primarily to strategically steer and govern the project whilst also collaborating and co-creating solutions that affect the youth on the continent.

Over the three-day meeting-workshop, it was curated to enable engagement sessions for both the Youth Advisory Board and Curators at play. The sessions covered setting the context of the project, in creating a new brand identification for the initiative and highlighting their prospects in sharing the project background and overview.

The sessions were also curated to focus on the two different groups (Curators and Youth Advisory Board): Addressing and unpacking issues of sharing, learning and best practices for Pre-programme, during their Programmes and Post-programme, addressing their challenges and solutions that they may be able to come up with in leveraging synergies, between the existing systems and youth at present.

The Youth Advisory Board was also tasked in developing a vision for envisaging the “Africa they want to see” through working on the strategic priority areas that will contribute towards the realization of this "Africa They Want to See”.

Based on the strategic priority areas identified at this meeting, team leaders for each of those areas, were selected. The youth advisory board will work in conjunction with the curators, to identify the most capable and committed young African leaders to lead teams. These team leaders will meet in the second quarter of 2019 and will thereafter mobilize their own teams to drive the projects. The selected transformative and viable ideas will be supported towards realization through a digital platform for collaboration and financial backing.

The selected young leaders will have up until October 2020 to develop their ideas. Whilst part of the Ford Foundation grant will serve as seed capital to get the projects off the ground, the young leaders - with the support of the Youth Advisory Board - will need to attract further funding to ensure the sustainability of their solutions.

At the end of the three-day meeting-workshop, the expectancy of the key takeout was formulated based on inputs from the meeting. A strategy document is being consolidated by the AFLI project team and will be shared for the Curators and Youth Advisory Board to review for further inputs in shaping the project.

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