ProjectPakatiIconAndNameProject Pakati seeks to harness the collective influence of Africa’s young leaders to drive change on the continent by collaborating on two projects. The first project is the Youth Representation and Inclusion Project and the second is a Directory of African Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organizations.

Projects with which it has been active include the following:

  • Youth Representation & Inclusion Project
  • Directory of African Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organizations
  • Report: Greater Inclusion of African Youth in Public Service and Governance
  • Report: Greater Inclusion of African Youth in Public Service and Governance
  • Open Letter to African Heads of State, calling for greater youth inclusion

 A summary of the projects are listed below.  Each of these projects also has a full page with more information.

Youth Representation & Inclusion Project

In the first project, some history, first.  The African Youth Charter, signed in 2006, sought to ensure the constructive involvement of youth in the development agenda of Africa and their effective participation in deliberations and decision-making processes. Nonetheless, young people remain marginalized in decision-making structures despite being the largest demographic on the continent. The Youth Representation Project seeks to understand the current status of the implementation of the Charter amongst African Union member states. In particular, it is trying to ascertain what the youth quotas are as a basis for supporting greater uptake. The project also seeks to advocate for structures in the public sector that would absorb young leaders to play more meaningful roles and contribute to shaping policies at national, regional and pan-African levels.

Directory of African Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organizations

The second Pakati project sought to improve the impact that youth-led organisations can have. 

Youth-led organizations are run and staffed by young people, and their members are all young people. Whilst youth-led/serving organizations are important as they ignite active citizenry, civic duty, and volunteerism at the community levels, several challenges exist. Firstly, they are often poorly funded, and funding organisations often struggle to identify youth-led and serving organizations at a grassroots level to fund. Secondly, youth-led/serving organizations do not leverage lessons learned from other, similar organizations. Finally, governments do not acknowledge these organizations and young people for the role they play towards economic and nation-building.

To overcome these barriers, AFLI created a directory for youth led and youth serving organisations, so they can find each other; be found by potential funding organisations; and be found by the various audiences they serve.

In response to the above challenges, the YouthForYouth.Africa directory was created with the intention of achieving the following:

  • Profiling youth-led/serving organizations to make them discoverable by potential funders and donors.
  • Recognizing youth-led/serving organizations for their work and efforts. The role of young people in building African economies is generally not acknowledged.
  • Providing data to the African Union & other institutions which have placed African youth at the center of their strategies.
  • Encouraging more young people to be engaged and exercise their agency. There are many young people who want to volunteer but do not know where to start.
  • Facilitating connections between youth-led/serving organizations - in the same country or across different African countries - so they can share experiences and learn.

Report: Greater Inclusion of African Youth in Public Service and Governance

On International Youth Day, 12 August 2020, a seminal report, Greater Inclusion of African Youth in Public Service and Governance was being launched. The report was the result of a partnership between the African Leadership Institute’s Project Pakati and the African Union Office of the Youth Envoy.

In May 2020, AFLI hosted a workshop with our African Union Youth Envoy Office partner titled The Greater Inclusion of African Youth in Public Service and Governance. The workshop engaged with policymakers, government officials and young leaders around best practices and lessons from selected progressive policies aimed at enhancing youth inclusion in governance in Africa. The outputs of that workshop and other engagements with pertinent stakeholders are captured in this report.

The report can be downloaded from the Greater Inclusion Report Page.

Open Letter to African Heads of State, calling for greater youth inclusion

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, the average age on the continent is 19 years old, in contrast to the rest of the world whose average median age is between 30 and 40. Yet, even with only about 3% of the continent's population being over the age of 65, the average age of African Heads of State in 2018 was 64.5.

What this widening governance age versus populace age represents is a Governance Gap, and the further it widens, the greater the political instability and volatility faced by the continent. This generational and governance gap makes the continent much more susceptible to power vacuums developing; political conflict; and social unrest, as young people demand representation. AFLI called on African Heads of State and governments to prioritize reducing this Governance Gap by urgently implementing greater youth inclusion in government.

You can read the open letter and view the discussion that took place on the day the letter was sent on the Open Letter page.



About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.