On May 4th and May 5th, in partnership with the African Union Youth Envoy, Aya Chebbi, and her office, Project Pakati convened a workshop to discuss how to achieve greater youth inclusion in African governments.
This pan-African workshop served to consolidate knowledge from experts, policymakers and practitioners on youth inclusivity policy in governance on the continent. Across the two day workshop, we engaged with 16 such experts in depth and were able to assess, in a structured and rigorous way, the drivers and inhibitors of meaningful youth inclusion reform, the obstacles policymakers and politicians face in undertaking such reforms, and how best to implement progressive reforms for greater youth inclusion in governance on the continent.
To that end, the workshop engaged with those who have been a part of such structural or policy reforms and to understand best practice as a basis for advocating for these practices to be adopted in other countries. More broadly it also facilitated a vital intergenerational dialogue for policymakers and young Africans to co-create solutions for the youth inclusion space in Africa. The workshop was convened over two days, with the first day consisting of four thematic breakaway sessions to discuss and debate specific reforms, namely,
- Lowering barriers to political participation;
- Creating a culture of intergenerational learning and work readiness in public service – youth quotas and internships;
- Leveraging expertise and innovation – special advisory roles and advisory bodies; and
- Building platforms for young governance and political contributions – parallel youth and parliamentary structures.
The second day was an open plenary which consolidated the insights of the first day and opened it up for broader discussion, debate and questions. We also had two incredible testimonial presentations by young people who had or were serving in public service across the continent, including one from Rose Wachuka, a Policy Advisor and Chief of Staff at Cabinet Office: Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage in Kenya; and Bogolo Kenewendo, the Former Minister of investment, trade and industry, in Botswana.
We were thrilled to have had so many young people join us virtually for this important conversation with a cumulative viewership - across Zoom, Twitter and Facebook - of 2,613 and more than 3,000 registrations for the virtual workshop. If you missed out, you can watch the full recording of the open plenary below.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all those who joined us for this important discussion. Special thanks to the Aya Chebbi and her team as well as our funders, the Ford Foundation, who made this possible, and all the incredible speakers who joined us over these incredible two days of shared learnings and experience.
The video of the opening plenary follows: