Youth Engagement in Democratic Governance and Socio-economic Development in Africa


Africa has the youngest population globally. While this is an unparalleled opportunity for growth and innovation, it may also fuel instability and violence. Young people in Africa need more capacities to use their potential as drivers of peaceful changes. With African and COMESA, SDC seeks to contribute to current continental, regional and national efforts to create an enabling environment for youth engagement in democratic processes , in line with the CH interest of contributing to the prevention of violent extremisms and supporting economic partnerships in Africa

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Southern and Eastern Africa
Governance
Conflict & fragility
Democratic participation and civil society
Conflict prevention
15.04.2019 - 30.04.2021
CHF 1'000'000
Background

Africa is home to the youngest population globally, with about 65 percent of its population being under the age of 35 years.[1] By 2015, Africa’s population was approximately 1.2 billion and is projected to increase rapidly to 1.7 billion by 2030 and more than double by 2050. This is an asset and a risk. Youth have been long left behind in decision-making and development processes. They are the most affected by unemployment in most African countries, especially in conflict contexts where they are both actors and victims. There is a global recognition that more attention should be paid to young people in development agenda and make them driving forces for peace and development. Pro-youth policies and initiatives geared to making young people a creative and dynamic source that can catalyze changes in political systems, socio-economic opportunities and power sharing dynamics within Africa exist at the global, continental, regional and national levels (UN, AU, Governments, RECs, Donors, etc). However, despite this normative commitment, there is still a huge gap between the rhetoric and the reality. The youth is not sufficiently incentivized to engage meaningfully in democratic and political processes. As a consequence, they face challenges of all kinds and life-threatening risks that prevent them from contributing to building a better future

 

[1]         L Tracey and E Kahuthia, ‘Beyond rhetoric Engaging Africa’s youth in democratic governance’ Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Policy Brief 99, February 2017 p 2.

Objectives Youth empowerment and increased participation in entrenching democratic values and culture towards the promotion of accountable governance in African Union (AU) member states, and COMESA region, in particular, including Tanzania and Mozambique 
Target groups

A total of 250’000 young people from:

  • Youth organisations
  • National Youth Councils
  • Youth labs
  • State governance institutions
Medium-term outcomes
  • Enhanced capacity of youth to participate in democratic governance and socio-economic development
  • Increased youth participation and engagement in policy formulation and implementation
  • Improved knowledge management, documentation and sharing of comparable lessons and experiences on youth participation in democratic governance and socio-economic development in Africa
Results

Expected results:  

  • Youth capacities to participate in political and state-building processes strengthened
  • Platforms for youth participation in electoral processes, decision-making at local, national, regional and continental levels of governance created and/or strengthened;
  • Home-grown youth solutions and innovations towards enhanced youth participation in democratic governance and socio-economic development incubated.
  • National and regional consultations with youth on democratic governance and socio-economic development policy formulation and implementation institutionalized
  • National youth policy dialogues institutionalized.
  • Platforms for sharing comparable lessons and experiences on youth participation in democratic governance and socio-economic development created and institutionalized


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Other International Organization
  • Other OI
  • SDC Field Office


Other partners
AGA –COMESA Secretariats
Coordination with other projects and actors
  • COMESA Trade for Peace Programme
  • Other AGA –Governance programmes funded by GIZ, EU, Norway, Denmark
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   1'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   380'000