• Regions:     Africa | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East & North Africa | Latin America & Caribbean

Regional Youth Funding in Africa



The AfDB is a multilateral development bank whose shareholders include 53 African countries and 24 non-African countries from the Americas, Asia, and Europe. It was established in 1964 and officially began operations in 1967. The group’s primary objective is to promote sustainable economic growth in order to reduce poverty in Africa. It achieves this objective by financing a broad range of development projects and programs in five topical areas, including poverty reduction and regional integration, and with many projects that have young people as their primary beneficiaries. During its 40 years of operations, AfDB has disbursed over 3,000 loans and grants totaling over US$50 billion.

As a more specific instrument, AfDB launched the ADF in 1974. ADF’s objective is the promotion of economic and social development in 38 least-developed African countries by providing concessional funding for projects and programs, as well as technical assistance for studies and capacity-building activities. In 2008, US$3.1 billion were disbursed to projects in areas including infrastructure development, environment, agriculture and rural development, and social services. Among the latter, education represents an important target of ADF funding.

A directory of ADF-funded projects is available at: http://www.afdb.org/en/projects-operations/project-portfolio/.



Founded in 1964, the AU is the continent’s principal organization for the promotion of accelerated socioeconomic integration, with the aim of creating greater unity and solidarity among African countries and peoples. It focuses on the promotion of peace, security, and stability on the continent as a prerequisite for the implementation of the development and integration agenda of the Union. Given their demographic importance, young people are seen by the AU as a key vehicle for implementing its objectives of peace, unity, and prosperity.

In this pursuit, a key vehicle was launched in 2005 with the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the AU. The Council marks a new course for the AU as it responds to calls for democracy and development from Africa’s vibrant civil society institutions. The rich and diverse human and institutional resources at the grassroots level in Africa are to become part of new partnerships between the governments and all segments of the society. One of the key functions of the Council is to “forge strong partnerships between governments and all segments of the civil society, in particular women, the youth, children, the Diaspora, organized labor, the private sector, and professional groups.” The Council formed a number of sectoral cluster committees, including several that are of particular relevance for young people: peace and security; social affairs and health; human resources, science, and technology; and women and gender.



The CYP Africa center is located in Lusaka, Zambia, and is one of four centers established to serve the member countries of the Commonwealth. CYP Africa responds to youth development for 20 countries, including Botswana, Cameroon, Cyprus, Ghana, The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

CYP Africa has four strategic program areas aimed at improving the condition of young people in Africa: Youth Enterprise and Sustainable Livelihoods; Governance; Development and Youth Networks; Youth Work Education and Training. Through these program areas, CYP Africa:

  • provides skills, resources, and contacts for young people to create their own business ventures;
  • strengthens youth governance and youth networks so that they serve young people more effectively;
  • develops youth work as a profession;
  • works with governments to create value for the contributions young people make in running their countries;
  • provides learning tools, models, Commonwealth experiences, and best practices in youth development across countries and regions;
  • provides opportunities to use information and communication technology (ICT) to support young people and their development;
  • builds youth leadership and decision making;
  • helps young people play a greater part in economic and social development;
  • provides a platform for advocacy and mainstreaming youth development in the work of multilateral development agencies.

For example, CYP Africa engages in human resource development efforts through professional training courses in Youth in Development Work and delivers a CYP diploma course, as well as short courses relevant to youth development skills. The Commonwealth Diploma in Youth in Development Work is an 18- month distant education course covering various development needs of working with young people and development in general.

For detailed information and further documents, please consult http://www.thecommonwealth.org/Internal/152819/152849/about_us/.



Established in 1965, the Commonwealth Foundation as an autonomous charitable trust tasked with funding “interchanges” between professional organisations, operates annually with approx. 4 billion GBP. It has four programmatic areas: Culture, Governance & Democracy, Human Development, and Communities & Livelihoods and is involved in dozens of initiatives each year – raising skills levels and understanding among civil society organisations, governments and the wider international community, is engaged in research and publishing, organise training workshops and develop tools to equip groups for the challenges they face.



The CPLP was formed in 1996 with seven countries: Portugal, Brazil (a former colony in South America), and five former colonies in Africa: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. East Timor joined the community in 2002 after independence. The CPLP is a bloc under construction, and the societies of the eight member nations have little knowledge of each other. One unique feature of the CPLP is that its members are linked by a common language and shared cultural features, which form a bridge among countries separated by great distances and on different continents. The CPLP has some programs relevant to youth in Africa, including its HIV/Aids Program, which is designed to help the five African member states, and the Center for the Development of Entrepreneurial Skills that is being established in Luanda, Angola.



The OIF includes among its members more than 20 African states. As part of its global programming, OIF has an operational youth program that aims to support the development of young people’s active and responsible citizenship and works with youth up to the age of 30. OIF’s three main areas of programming for and with youth are: (1) meetings among French-speaking young people about issues of society, politics, and policymaking that concern them; (2) technical assistance to member states to reinforce their national youth policies and intersectoral policies that affect young people; and (3) support and encouragement of French-speaking young people to get involved in the Francophonie volunteer program (Voluntariat Francophone).