Virtual Series on Youth Engagement in Africa's Electoral Processes - Session I (French)

Webinaire Session I - Réengager la jeunesse dans les élections pendant la période du COVID-19

This webinar will be held in French.

  1. Background

Young people under 30 comprise more than 50 percent of the global population, but their voices are often underrepresented in decision-making. Effects from COVID-19 are further removing young leaders from opportunities to engage in political and public affairs and in COVID-19 decision-making due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders. School closures are causing a democratic learning gap in school-age children and youth who were actively learning about democratic principles through formal, school-based civic education programs.

Young activists can no longer gather in person for large social movements or rallies. Political apathy may also be on the rise in young voters, who already lacked trust in their governments and feel that these same leaders failed to appropriately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, giving rise to the need for an all Africa Youth Consultation series.  International IDEA Africa and West Asia has partnered with the East Africa Youth Ambassadors Platform over a webinar series that seeks to accord these issues and youth voices a platform.

The East Africa Youth Ambassadors Platform (EACYAP)is derived from Articles 120 (c), 127, 128, 129 (2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, which inter alia advocates for and voices the interest of the youth across the region in the East African Community integration process and sits within the Department of Political Affairs with the flagship of EAC youth Ambassadors in Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan the multistakeholder consultation in partnership with the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance Africa and West Asia aims to promote Co- Intergenerational Dialogue to young leaders with in order to support to the building, strengthening and safeguarding of democratic political institutions and youth engagement in the Electoral process amid COVID-19.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March, 2020 , the EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform has been working as a member of the Africa Youth Front on COVID-19 under the  AU Office of the Youth Envoy (OYE) through a series of 13 consultation sessions convened of focus groups discussion with over 400 youth leaders from 42 countries, and an average 25 participants per consultation. Learn more.

Based on the outcomes of the focus group consultations, there were three main expectations from youth in the political landscape thematic focus;  

  • The creation of youth policy space and framework within the continent to co-lead in engaging youth as voters in electoral processes to help build a foundation for responsible, participatory and engaged citizenship and awareness of citizen–state relations, roles and responsibilities by youth.
  • Direct engagement, communication and dialogue with decision makers to provide room to engage youth as electoral contestants in electoral processes and contribute to enhanced youth participation in political spheres by supporting youth candidates to contest in elections.
  • Virtual Consultations on Young People Fostering Peace and Security in Africa during Elections (Involving youth representatives from East, West, Central, South and North Africa).

Therefore, the development of a series of Webinars by the East African Youth Ambassadors to be executed over a period of two months shall provide the curating of these three thematics to achieve the overall goal of better structural and policy frameworks for effective youth participations in immediate future elections within the continent 

     2. Objective

Create the opportunity for African youth to participate in the political conversations related to elections and help influence decision making processes by establishing a model of dialogue and space for exchange and co-creation between youth and decision-makers as well as secure commitment from the leaders in favor of the youth agenda. This is also aimed at continuing to bring the African youth from different regional bodies (EAC, COMEA, SADC , ECOWAS , National Youth Councils ) closer to delivering as one and foster intergenerational dialogues and Co-leadership with African leaders.

  1. Specific Objectives
  1. Empower youth with information and inspire them with calls to action;
  2. Secure commitments from decision makers to meet the youth policy recommendations.
  3. Develop 4 situational papers regional report and continental outcome document to provide basis for policy and structural changes for youth effective participation and representation in politics held within limiting environments of  COVID19.
  1. Format

In each Webinar, The EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform hosts a guest speaker who is a decision maker or an African leader in EMBs / Head of Democracy and Electoral Assistance in RECs/ AU / Leaders in Institutions working to promote good governance with live interventions from African youth, short interventions from African leaders and partners as well as Q&A from the participants and use of polls to highlight trends. 

  1.  Webinars regional composition;

The series of  5 webinars will be held with two thematic focuses on firstly; re-engaging youth in elections and voting; and secondly on young people fostering peace and security in Africa during Elections, convened across the 5 regions of Africa (East ,West, Central, North and South ), where 2 webinars will be conducted in English and 2 in French while the concluding continental webinar will be in english.

  1. Youth Regional Composition
  • Office of the African Union Youth Special Envoy on Youth
  • Southern Africa Youth Forum ( SADC Youth )
  • YIAGA Africa *Lead Campaign runners of ‘Not too young to Run’
  • Women in Leadership Advancement Network
  • COMESA Youth Forum
  • ECOWAS Youth Council
  • African Union Youth Peace Ambassadors
  • National Youth Councils

    7. Expected Outcomes
  • Actionable derivative report for implementation through the already existing structural avenues specifically for consideration by the EAC political affairs department and presentation to the AU Department of Political Affairs.
  • Situational regional papers in English and French to curate experiences or activities in relation to the youth involvement in meaningful electoral process, peace and development in their respective countries and RECs.
  • Raise awareness online to young people on the importance of engaging in electoral processes and championing for peaceful elections in Africa.
  • Actionable recommendations grounded in a rights-based approach to youth political participation to improve:
  • Individual programming of AU Organs, and Regional Economic Communities (RECs);
  • Enhance efforts towards meaningful youth participation in political parties, government ministries, and agencies, including EMBs, media.
  • Regional specific challenges and experiences through situational papers developed relating to meaningful youth participation in electoral processes to provide baseline information and also disseminated to facilitate sharing of best practices and lessons learned among the member states.
  • Intergenerational policy dialogue on youth in electoral processes institutionalized strategic programming recommendations of the EAC member states.
Partner Organizations/collaborators: 
East African Community Youth Ambassadors Platform (EACYAP)

Olufunto Akinduro, Senior Programme Officer – Elections in the Africa and West Asia Programme,

Chitanda Yafika,  Administration Assistant of the Gender Project in the Africa and West Asia Programme,