APPLY TODAY to participate in the AU/GIZ Youth Exchange Ideation Dialogue Forum

As part of the strategies to facilitate partner engagement within the framework of the African German Youth Initiative (AGYI), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) will convene an Ideation Dialogue Forum on youth exchanges and volunteerism which will explore innovative approaches towards skills promoting youth exchange programs. The dialogue will provide a platform to share experiences, discuss key strategies towards strengthening existing processes as well as identify opportunities for expansion of currently available services. The dialogue seeks to engage key stakeholders including youth led exchange organizations, participants as well as alumni of exchanges and volunteerism.

The forum will take place in Gaborone, Botswana from the 2-4 September 2018 and transportation and accommodation costs will be covered.

PARTICIPATION CRITERIA: Participants in the Forum will be pre-selected on the following criteria:

  •  Be between the age of 18 and 35
  • Proficiency in at least English or French
  • Have a valid passport
  • Have a relevant experience in youth exchange and/ or youth voluntary programs
  • Be African or be an African descent

SELECTION CRITERIA: The Ideation Dialogue Forum is designed for a maximum of 100 participants.

The selection criteria will be based on geographical representation, balanced gender distribution, diversity of backgrounds, and the quality of the applications. Successful applicants will be notified by no later than 14 August 2018.

Click here to fill the online APPLICATION FORM


Apply to attend the Annual African Governance Architecture (AGA) Regional Youth Consultations

Deadline for applications: May 30, 2018


The African Governance Platform through its Secretariat based at the Department of Political Affairs, African Union Commission will convene Regional Youth Consultations under the theme ‘Leveraging Youth Capacities for the fight against corruption in Africa’.This is line with the AU theme of the Year: Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation.

The overall goal of the regional youth consultations is to provide a collaborative, open and inclusive space to leverage and foster meaningful participation of young people in the fight against corruption in Africa.  It is expected that the consultations will provide actionable recommendations on meaningful youth engagement in the prevention and fight against corruption amongst others.

Applications are open for interested participants to take part in the three regional consultations scheduled for July and August 2018 in Tunis, Tunisia;  Dakar, Senegal; and Gaborone, Botswana.

Participant Criteria
In an effort to make these consultations as inclusive and diverse as possible, the African Union will select youth leaders engaged in State and non-State institutions who have made significant and demonstrable contribution (work experience and educational background) in the areas of anti-corruption, transparency and accountability, open governance systems as well as Freedom & Access to information. Participants will be selected on the basis of their submission from an open call using the following selection criteria:

  • Youth-led and oriented organisations implementing activities that are related to anti-corruption, transparency and accountability, open governance systems, as well as freedom and access to information programmes and activities in the Member States at all levels taking into consideration the diversity of young people;

  • Representatives of national anti-corruption agencies, parliaments, security institutions as well as the judiciary amongst others;

  • Think tanks and academic research institutions with experience in promoting youth participation in anti-corruption initiatives;

  • Media practitioners;

  • Youth participants should be between 18-35 years of age; and,

  • Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Selection Process:
Participants will be selected on the basis of motivation and experience. The AU will ensure balance in terms of age, gender, language, geography and diversity among selected participants.
As part of the regional consultation activities, youth organizations will be afforded an opportunity to share their ideas and initiatives with participants on the AfricaTalks DGTrends Platform using a TED-Talk style approach. Kindly fill the section on the registration form indicating your willingness to present your initiatives at any of the regional forums.

Scholarships for travel & participation:  the travel, visa and accommodation of selected youth participants will be covered by the African Union and its Partners. No additional application is needed for sponsorship. Self sponsored participants are also encouraged to apply.

Deadline for the receipt of application is May 30, 2018.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.



Pour le français, cliquer ici

The African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC), established in 2010, is a continental development program that promotes youth volunteerism in Africa. The program aims to deepen the status of young people as key actors in Africa’s development targets and goals, enhancing their participation in policy development as well as design and implementation of relevant interventions towards the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, ‘The Africa we want’. It brings people together to share skills, knowledge, creativity and learning to build a more integrated, prosperous and peaceful Continent driven by its citizens. The volunteering opportunities are intended to build professionalism and a sense of responsibility among the participants, thus enhancing their employability.

Young African professionals are recruited to serve for a period of 12 months as AU Volunteers in an AU Member State other than their own. The next intake of volunteers for deployment in 2019 will be from the 15 May – 15 June 2018.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Applicants have to meet the following criteria:

  1. Citizen of an AU Member State living on the continent or the Diaspora;
  2. Aged between 18 – 35 years;
  3. Have a post-secondary certified qualification(s) (TVET, Bachelor’s, Master’s etc.)
  4. Available in 2018/19 to dedicate 12 (twelve) months for volunteer work;
  5. Willing to live and work in another AU Member State;
  6. Is proficient in at least one AU working language (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese);
  7. Has at least one year verifiable volunteering experience and one year professional work experience.

APPLICATION PROCESS: To submit your application:

  1. Create an account on the portal (instructions and video tutorial available)
  2. Fill out your personal information and the application form
  3. Attach the following documents:
  • Your updated professional CV (no longer than 3 pages)
  • Bio page of your passport (or national ID)
  • Copy of your highest completed qualification (no transcripts)
  • Attach a letter of recommendation (not older than 2 years) attesting to your leadership qualities
  1. Attach your cover letter. In your cover letter please respond to the following questions:
  • Why do you want to become an African Union Youth Volunteer?
  • What makes you the best candidate for AU-YVC?
  • What skills are you bringing to the AU-YVC and your host organization?
  1. Review and submit your application before: Friday, 15th June 2018 midnight (Addis Abeba time)
  • Incomplete and late applications will not be considered
  • Providing incomplete or incorrect information is ground for immediate termination


  • 15 June – eligibility check;
  • 31 July – successful applicants will be notified;
  • September/October: Pre-deployment orientation training;
  • 2018/19: Deployment of trained volunteers.


For the successful candidates, the African Union Commission and partners will cover the full costs of their pre-deployment training and cost of their deployment. On deployment, the African Union Youth Volunteers receive the following:

  • Economy return air ticket from home town to place of deployment
  • A modest monthly stipend
  • Health insurance cover
  • AU Service Passport
  • Separation allowance on successful completion of twelve months service


African Union Commission

Department of HRST

Division for HR & Youth Development

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Apply to become the African Union Youth Envoy

(Pour le français, cliquer ici)


African Heads of State and Government in their Decision Assembly/AU/Dec. 591(XXVI) declared 2017 as the year for “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth” and called for the development of a comprehensive roadmap with clear deliverables and milestones to guide Member States and Regional Economic Communities on key steps to take, beyond 2017, towards harnessing the demographic dividend in Africa.

This decision was based on the realization that in order to achieve sustainable development and meet the aspirations of Agenda 2063 that envisions the “Africa We Want”, Africa must accelerate and increase strategic investments in its young people who constitute the majority of its population.

It is against this backdrop that AUC developed its youth engagement strategy which recognizes the centrality of young people in driving continental development; the major objective of this strategy being breaking barriers to direct communication with African youth.

Within the framework of the implementation of this strategy, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, during the 30th Ordinary Session of AU Heads of State and Government Assembly, in his speech at the opening session announced the upcoming appointment of an AU Youth Envoy.


The Youth Envoy shall be the spokesperson of African youths before continental decision-making bodies. He/she shall encourage AU Member States to define and implement youth-related policies at national, regional and continental levels. He/she shall also advocate for better youth mainstreaming in decision-making and will promote African core values across the continent and beyond. The AU Youth Envoy will also have the critical task to reconcile AU efforts on youth development with the aspirations of African youths, help in enhancing AU response to youth needs, and break communication barriers between the African Union and African youths.

To this end, his/her mission shall focus on 4 priority are including: Participation, Advocacy, Partnerships and Harmonisation.

It is within this context that the African Union Commission is hereby launching a call for nominations for the position of AU Youth Envoy who will be assigned to the Chairperson’s office and will directly report to him, while working in close collaboration with HRST Department. This call is open to all qualified young Africans. The scope and focus of the work of AU Youth Envoy will reflect AU vision and especially Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063 “An Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential of its people, especially its women and youth and caring for children…” which focuses on youth engagement and empowerment.

The scope and focus of the work of AU Youth Envoy will also reflect that of the Specialized Technical Committee on Youth Culture and Sports (STC-YCS 2) and specifically decision 25 thereof which “CALLS for the appointment of an AU Youth Envoy to assist in championing youth development issues in Africa and REQUESTS the AUC to develop terms of reference for the same.”

Deadline for applications: Monday 15th May 2018, 11PM (Addis-Ababa time)

Before applying, download the Terms of reference of the mission of the Youth Envoy 

Click here to Download the full call for application, the criteria and the form to fill 


The Reform of the African Union requires a paradigm shift from Member States

The AU of the Heads of States vs the AU of the People


Mandate to Reform the African Union

The 27th African Union Summit in Kigali closed with a commitment to fast track initiatives designed to make the African Union Commission (AUC) financially independent.

African Heads of State also tasked President Paul Kagame to lead a new effort to reform the AU Commission and the Union to make them more efficient.

Welcoming the task, President Kagame said: “I think this is a clear-cut task that has been handed to us and as foot soldiers of our continent we can’t run away from responsibilities, we will be able to do that within our abilities and based on consultations with the Heads of State and Government.” However, the task that President Kagame has committed to is all but an easy one.

Predecessor of the AU, the OAU was expected to serve as an instrument or mechanism for forging unity and solidarity among African states. It was also expected to advance cooperation among countries in order to enhance and promote economic development, improve the quality of life of all Africans, encourage and make possible the peaceful settlement of disputes whilst advancing democracy. Unable to overcome numerous challenges, the OAU, otherwise commonly nicknamed “The Club” was dissolved in 2002 and replaced by the African Union, with a charter supposed to address the weaknesses of the OAU, whilst carrying on its major goals. Mwangi S. Kimeny (2016) reported, “Unfortunately, the AU seems to have inherited the OAU’s approach to the performance of its functions as evidenced by the failure of the organization to effectively and timely spearhead the peaceful resolution of destructive conflicts in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Mali”.[1]

For a number of years now, the AU has been subjected to wide criticism for its inertia, lack of inspiration, authority and weak leadership. The Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2015 and more recently the situation where, in several countries, outgoing Heads of States have manipulated national constitutions in order to extend their stay in power, causing political regression and throwing their countries into near chaos, came to comfort the public distrust towards the continental body’s ability to deliver on its mandates. To make the matter worse the AU has been debilitated by the deep financial crisis caused by the lack of financial contribution by Members States to an Organization surviving on the generosity of foreign Partners. This is compounded by an inadequate management and accountability of resources.

The call for a Reform

Reforming the AU had been an obvious conclusion that Member States had arrived at a decade ago. However, the task is all but a pleasure trip as successive Chairpersons found out. Former President Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali (2003 – 2008) attempting to assert himself in his role only managed to anger his previous fellows. Rumor even has it that he was called to order by his host reminding him that he was no longer a Head of State but an employee. Konare’s successor Jean Ping of Gabon (2008-2012) learning his lesson, did little on the Reform Agenda.

The results of a commissioned consultancy on the AUC reform remained locked in the drawers amidst rumors that drastic proposals would have risen the ire of Members States.

More recently, the current incumbent, South-African Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, elected on the expectation and the promises to deliver the long awaited reform of the Commission, has not been able to lead a similar process any far, as her initiative remained stalled by the AU oversight bodies.

Questions that President Kagame would no doubt have asked himself before committing his precious time to a Reform of the AU are the following: ……

–>> Click here to Read the full article written by Mr Bonaventure M Sodonon, International Management Consultant & Peace & Security Expert.

Governance: Why should the Sahel (and the G5 Sahel) rely on its youth to get better!

Since its creation in February 2014 by five Sahel region countries, namely Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, the G5 Sahel is gradually materializing. The G5 Sahel or “G5S” is said to be, according to its Permanent Secretary, “an institutional framework for coordination and monitoring of regional cooperation in development and security policies”.

The G5 Sahel Community – Picture (all Copyright reserved to its author)

Although all these countries already belong to different regional communities, the G5 Sahel was easy to unite, due to an existing homogeneity between its peoples and the geostrategic position of the region which is also the nest of Youth radicalization in Africa, and thereby becoming the fertile ground for terrorist activities. Unfortunately, the region offers the facilitation to young West Africans’ migration to Europe via Mediterranean roads; not to mention that the Sahel region is experiencing latent ethnic conflicts and growing insecurity arising from several factors, including the climate change.

With such states’ fragility, looking at issues related to the demographic dividend seems to be a priority in Africa, not only to convert the strength and grip of (especially literate) young people activism for well-being into a force, but also to channel their efforts on a more comprehensive approach towards the management of public affairs at the triple level of governance, namely political, economic and social governance.

When looking for solutions towards better political governance, the guarantee of comprehensive democratic practice, the reality of changeover and transparency in elections, the promotion of the most basic civil and political rights are important subjects that could position youth as the strongest link of the society. As they volunteer, well-trained and engaged youth can help ensure that citizens’ right to vote is respected and secured.

In the area of ​​economic governance, a greater part of the resolution of issues can be devolved to young people who can help find durable solutions to the fight against economic crimes, develop the rural economy, reducing public health spending (for example), while building on their imagination, innovation and creativity.

Coming to social governance, it is possible to succeed in converting young people, who are the major social services beneficiaries, into actors, catalysts and multipliers of initiatives of great social significance, in the sense of a “self-empowerment” that can be duplicated and expanded. To do this, whether they are inside the country or in the Diaspora, youth could facilitate a transfer of competence and values ​​that convey work, patriotism, collaboration, diversity and tolerance between ethnic groups and social classes.

To achieve this, it requires, quite simply, that the young generation today, more than in the past, takes ownership of matters of major importance to the region its belongs to and assumes its responsibilities, as required by Article 26 of the African Charter on Youth. !

It is in this context that, far from big and sporadic forums whose results are yet to come, Zayrah Africa, a Youth-led and Youth-focus development agency, through its regional coordination “Zayrah Sahel”, strives to CONSTANTLY, MONTHLY mobilize young people of the Diaspora of the Sahel region, during the “Saturday of the Sahel”. The goal of this initiative is to increase the participation and contribution of young people to the governance efforts of their respective States and the Sahel community.


For its first edition scheduled for September 30th, 2017 in Dakar at the African Institute of Management (IAM), the “Saturday of the Sahel” will the discuss about: “how to harness the demographic dividend in the Sahel region in order to improve governance “. This will be an open space for debate, followed by proposals, recommendations and above all commitments of the participants to help, even at a micro level, to build better political, economic and social governance in the frame of the Charter African Association of Democracy, Elections and Governance.

At the end of every “Saturday of the Sahel”, which will bring together members of civil society organizations, academics, researchers, media, political and state authorities and youth organizations in the Sahel region and Senegal, recommendations will be shared amongst decision-makers to better capture the demographic dividend in the region in order to enhance its governance.

It is worth recalling that the topic of the discussion falls within the framework of the African Union’s theme of the year 2017, entitled “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in youth”.

Zayrah Sahel is a member of the West Civil Society and is based in Senegal. It’s part of the South Africa-based Zayrah Africa, a network present in Mozambique, Tunisia, Benin and Cameroon (through Zayrah Foundation).

For more information, please contact the Zayrah Sahel Coordinator, Mr Michael MATONGBADA, at, tel: +221 77 476 79 46.

This is an unofficial version translated from the French article.

Gouvernance: Pourquoi le Sahel (et le G5 Sahel) doit compter sur sa jeunesse pour mieux se porter!


Depuis sa création en Février 2014 par cinq États du Sahel : Burkina Faso,  Mali, Mauritanie, Niger et Tchad, le G5 Sahel se met progressivement en place. Le G5 Sahel ou « G5S » est dit être : « un cadre institutionnel de coordination et de suivi de la coopération régionale en matière de politiques de développement et de sécurité ».

Bien que tous ces pays appartiennent déjà à des ensembles régionaux différents, le G5 Sahel était facile à réunir, en fonction d’une homogénéité entre ses peuples et la position géostratégique de la région qui se veut être le nid de la radication de la jeunesse africaine favorisant ainsi le développement d’activités terroristes. La région offre malheureusement la facilitation de l’émigration des jeunes ouest africains vers l’Europe, par les routes méditerranéennes, sans oublier que le Sahel connaît des conflits ethniques latents et une insécurité grandissante née de plusieurs facteurs dont la question de la gestion d’eau, causée par les changements climatiques.

Avec une telle fragilité de ses Etats, l’examen des questions liées au dividende démographique semble devenir une priorité en Afrique pour, non seulement convertir la force et la poigne des jeunes (surtout lettrés) dans leur activisme pour un bien-être en une force ouvrière, mais aussi concentrer leurs efforts sur une approche plus globale de la gestion de la chose publique, au triple niveau de la gouvernance étatique: politique, économique et sociale.

Dans la quête des solutions pour une meilleure de gouvernance politique, la garantie de la pratique démocratique dans tout son ensemble, la réalité de l’alternance et de la transparence lors des élections, la promotion des droits civils et politiques les plus basiques sont autant de sujets qui pourraient positionner la jeunesse comme le plus fort maillon et avant-gardiste de la société. Le volontariat d’une jeunesse, si bien formée et engagée, peut aider à s’assurer que le droit de vote de tous les citoyens est respecté et sécurisé.

En matière de gouvernance économique, une plus grande part de la résolution des questions peut être dévolue à la jeunesse qui peut aider à trouver des solutions durables à la lutte contre les crimes économiques, développer l’économie rurale, renforcer l’efficacité de l’administration publique, réduire les dépenses liées à la santé publique (par exemple) tout en se basant sur leur sens d’imagination, d’innovation et de créativité.

Sur le registre de la gouvernance sociale, il est possible de réussir à convertir les jeunes, grands bénéficiaires des services sociaux de l’Etat, en acteurs, catalyseurs et leaders des initiatives de haute portée sociale, dans le sens d’une « auto-autonomisation » pouvant être dupliquée et élargie. Pour ce faire, la jeunesse de chaque Etat, qu’elle se trouve à l’intérieur du pays ou dans la Diaspora, pourrait faciliter un transfert de compétence et de valeurs qui véhiculent le travail, l’amour de la patrie, le sens de la collaboration, de la diversité et de la tolérance entre ethnies, classes et castres sociales.

Pour y arriver, il requiert, tout banalement, que la jeune génération actuelle, mieux que par le passé, s’approprie les questions d’importance majeure pour la région à laquelle elle appartient et prenne ses responsabilités, tel qu’exige l’article 26 de la Charte africaine de la Jeunesse. ! 

C’est dans ce contexte que loin des grands et sporadiques fora dont les résultats font encore attendre, Zayrah Africa, une Agence de développement créée et gérée par des jeunes africains, à travers sa coordination régionale « Zayrah Sahel », a pensé à une mobilisation CONSTANTE, MENSUELLE des jeunes de la Diaspora de la Région du Sahel, au cours des « Samedi du Sahel ». Le simple but de cette initiative est d’accroître durablement la participation et la contribution des jeunes aux efforts de gouvernance de leurs pays respectifs et de la communauté.


Pour sa première édition prévue le 30 de Septembre 2017 à Dakar à l’Institut Africain de Management (IAM), le « Samedi du Sahel » articulera les discussions autour de : « comment tirer profit du dividende démographique dans la région du Sahel pour renforcer sa gouvernance ». Ce sera une conférence – débat  suivie de propositions, de recommandations et surtout d’engagements des participants à aider, même à un niveau micro, à l’édification d’une meilleure gouvernance, tant politique, économique que sociale, au sens de la Charte Africaine de la Démocratie, des Elections et de la Gouvernance.

Ce numéro 1 des « Samedis du Sahel », qui regroupera des membres de la société civile, d’universitaires, de chercheurs, d’autorités politiques et étatiques et d’organisations de jeunesse de la région du Sahel et du Sénégal, permettra de proposer des recommandations pertinentes à l’endroit des décideurs pour une meilleure capture du dividende démographique dans la région afin de renforcer sa gouvernance.

Il faut souligner que ce sujet de discussion entre dans le cadre du thème de l’année 2017 de l’Union africaine, intitulé : « Tirer pleinement profit du dividende démographique en investissant dans la jeunesse ».

Zayrah Sahel est membre de la société civile Ouest et est basée au Sénégal. Il fait partie du réseau de Zayrah Africa basé en Afrique du Sud et présent en au Mozambique, en Tunisie, au Bénin et au Cameroun (à travers Zayrah Foundation).

Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez contacter le Coordonateur de Zayrah Sahel, Monsieur Michael MATONGBADA par email : ou par téléphone : +221 77 476 79 46.