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BRIEF October 17, 2020

Youth Transforming Africa: Giving Youth a Space to Discuss the Development Challenges Affecting Them

Image

 © Dasan Bobo, World Bank


Youth Transforming Africa (YTA) is a youth engagement initiative supported by the World Bank in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a community gathering winners of the Blog4Dev competition, joined by other youth leaders. Currently, the network is covering 38 countries.

The Youth Transforming Africa vision is to give Africa’s youth having a seat at the table when development topics affecting them are discussed. The goal is to offer them an opportunity to better understand the challenges facing the continent, and a place to  voice their concerns, express their thoughts, and share ideas and solutions.

Principles

Youth Transforming Africa is built on three principles:

-          Mutual listening mode: Youth Transforming Africa provides a platform for dialogue between Africa’s youth and institutions involved in Africa’s development, including the World Bank Group.

-          Semi-open: As a movement, the Youth Transforming Africa brand is co-owned by the World Bank and the Youth Transforming Africa community. Each body has responsibilities and ownership for specific activities, while they are partnering on others.

-          Horizontality and verticality: Youth Transforming Africa is gathering young Africans from various profiles regardless of ages and background (horizontality), but depending on their areas of interest and expertise, some members are also organized gathering around thematic clusters (verticality).

Activities

Youth Transforming Africa’s activities are organized on the following three pillars.

-          Activities aimed at identifying brilliant young Africans willing to act as community leaders in the dialogue on development, through their social media channels, their involvement in civil society organizations or their professional activities

-          Networking and capacity-building activities for Youth Transforming Africa members

-          Building a bridge between African Youth and stakeholders involved in the continent’s development, inside and outside the World Bank

These activities can take various forms and be handled at a regional level or at a country level, depending on parameters such as audiences and objectives. The following list is not exhaustive.

Identification

Networking and capacity building

Bridging with stakeholders

-          Blog4Dev

-          Ideas4Action

 

-          Webinars

-          Roundtables

-          Briefings / Conferences

-          YTA Clubs

 

-          High-level events

-          Youth Summit

-          Youth Voices chapters (with World Bank Youth2Youth community)

2019 Events

In 2019, the Youth Transforming Africa community was invited to bring Africa’s youth voices to several high-level events, including:

·       Event on Human Capital (Washington DC, April 2019)

·       Investing in Africa Forum (Brazzaville, September 2019)

·       State of the Africa Region (Washington DC, October 2019).

·      

·        West Africa Coastal Areas Marketplace (Abidjan, November 2019)

·        Youth Summit (Washington DC, December 2019)

Blog4Dev

The World Bank organizes an annual blog-writing competition for Africans age 18-32 living in Sub-Saharan Africa each year to share their thoughts on a development topic.

In 2019, Blog4Dev became a regional-wide competition, after having been led by the World Bank Kenya office since 2014.

-          Blog4Dev 2019 winning blogs: Solutions to closing Africa’s digital divide

-          Blog4Dev 2020 winning blogs: Empowering Africa’s women and girls by ending child marriage

Ideas4Action

The Ideas4Action competition is organized by the Wharton Business School and the World Bank since 2015. Each year, teams from Africa ranked among the global top 3 out of thousands of participants all over the world.

-          2015: Team Oxygen (Nigeria), second place

-          2016: Team DVLR (Nigeria), first place

-          2017: Team Kitovu (Nigeria), first place. Team Gifted Hands Network (Uganda), second place

-          2018: Team Starlight (Rwanda), second place

-          2019: Team WellPower (Kenya), third place