Africa: Interesting Initiatives
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This section includes some initiatives for youth that have been undertaken in the region. These may not form part of the work of the “traditional” youth sector of the region, but they nevertheless constitute examples of good practice and demonstrate the extent of development and innovation under way in the youth sector in this region.
Africa-Europe Training Course for Youth Organizations of the North–South Centre of the Council of Europe
Under its objective to provide training and capacity building of young people and youth organizations outside Europe, the North–South Centre of the Council of Europe, based in Lisbon, Portugal, organizes the Africa-Europe Training Course for Youth Organizations. The course takes place either annually or biennially, depending on the availability of financial support. Its objectives include (1) strengthening the role of youth organizations as civil society actors and the capability of youth to organize and take action, as well as strengthening political participation in poverty eradication and social cohesion; (2) identifying educational principles to promote the global citizenship of young people in Europe and Africa. It contributes to strengthening the capacity of multipliers in youth organizations in Europe and Africa with the necessary skills to develop and implement Africa–Europe cooperation programs, notably those aimed toward reducing poverty and creating an informal network of youth leaders and organizations interested in developing Africa–Europe cooperation.
Africa Files is a network of volunteers committed to promoting African perspectives and alternative analyses for human rights and economic justice in Africa. It is active in the fields of information and research and was launched in 2002 by former volunteers in two well-established groups based in Toronto, the Economic Rights in Southern Africa group of the Inter-Church Coalition on Africa and the Toronto Committee for the Liberation of Southern Africa. When these groups ceased operation in 2001, members from each group came together to explore ways to continue their work and express their solidarity with Africa. It is also a useful and up-to-date information resource for youth-related activities.
Global Youth Partnership for Africa (GYPA)
GYPA is an NGO that strives to cultivate youth as global citizens and partners in development and advocacy for Africa. GYPA seeks to develop deeper appreciation, understanding, and respect between young American and African leaders, who are tomorrow’s global decision makers. GYPA supports the American and the African youth to engage directly with one another in grassroots development projects, cultural exchanges, and peace-building efforts.
Pan African Youth Leadership Forum of the Friends of Africa International
Friends of Africa International (FAI) organizes once every year the Pan African Youth Leadership Forum (first held in Ghana in 2007) prior to the Summer Session of the African Union Summit. This forum creates an opportunity for Africa’s young people to engage in discussions with leaders and policy makers on the continent in order to present their recommendations and plans of action to address the challenges faced by the youth.
The Young People’s Commission for Africa (YPCfA)
The Young People’s Commission for Africa was a project organized by Plan UK and Gemin-i.org, which linked 25 UK schools with 25 schools in Africa between January and June 2005. The YPCfA was designed to give young people the chance to engage with the Commission for Africa and have their voices heard by the G8 leaders. The project encouraged young people in Africa and the UK to work collaboratively as they explored their impressions of Africa and its challenges and opportunities. The project developed technological tools to link schools and communicate the concerns and issues of young people to governments. Some young people who took part in the project were invited to Downing Street to meet the prime minister of the UK.