Call for applications : Debate on youth and political decision-making in Africa


Engaging young people in politics is critical to the safeguarding and strengthening of democracy worldwide. With an estimated 1.2 billion people aged 15–24 on the planet, justice and democratic legitimacy demand more than a token youth presence in parliament. People between the ages of 20 and 44 make up 57 per cent of the world’s voting age population but only 26 per cent of the world’s MPs. In addition, the presence of young people in political positions can change attitudes, eroding stereotypes about readiness or fitness to lead, while also encouraging young people to see politics as an arena open to their participation.

Application guidelines

  • Youth applicants between the ages of 18-35 are welcome to participate.
  • Applicants should submit a 300-word abstract on the theme “Youth in political decision-making in Africa” by 27 February 2017.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a preliminary training and assessment session on 13 March. Applicants located outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will be interviewed via Skype.
  • The organizers will announce the teams on 20 March and preparations for the debate will be held on 21 March.
  • The final debate will be held on 31 March in Addis Ababa (location TBD).

 Debate procedure

After the preliminary training and assessment session on 13 March, each team, consisting of three individuals, will answer two essay questions based on a set of thematic questions or a case study; one supporting the topic and the other against. Each team will be assigned to a supervisor who will support the team on basic structure and formatting. The teams will debate one side of the argument based on their submitted essays and through the use of other sources of information. The floor will then open for a Q&A session for further discussion and clarification. After examining the essays and verbal arguments, independent evaluators will grade each team and announce the final winner.


  • The winning team will have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa on 22-23 April 2017 (Accommodation and flights to Bahir Dar, Ethiopia will be covered).
  • They will also have the opportunity to publish their essay in the upcoming AfSol (African Solutions) book series, IPSS website as well as other IPSS web platforms.
  • A certificate of participation on behalf of the IPSS Alumni Network will be given to all participants.

For questions and to submit abstracts, please contact

Click here to download more on the application process.

Source: IPSS Website

Why are African citizens leaving their countries ? Xenophobia – Mediterranean Sea – Killing in Libya…

That’s the title of a recent reaction from Mr Desiré Assogbavi on his blog, with regards to these past two weeks events. It happened that many Africans have been moving from their home countries for a better tomorrow, either within Africa or elsewhere and that’s posing certain problems. They accept taking risks at the cost of their lives to “migrate” and nowadays things are being hectic as (call for) xenophobia is arising and others are dying in the Mediterranean see.


I’m not sure I have a solution to this issue of migration, just because migration has always been in the history of the humanity. Remember,  from the theological theory of the creation, ancestors have migrated or forced to many times and Lucy the oldest of the mankind has also migrated, considering the evolutionist theory. In fact, there is nothing wrong with migrating and the reasons are still valid when people have to look for better lives, for comfort. I admit though the issue of legality is relative and arguable, in particular on the recent immigration law passed by South Africa.

The approach of Mr Assogbavi, in his writing, seems to be one of an Active Citizen with all activism’s energy in it  and I understand the recommendations he made.  However, with the approach of not inventing new wheel but implement what’s already on the table I think these recommendations can be simplified through few words: ALL AFRICAN LEADERS ARE CALLED TO SHOW WITH GOOD WILL AND  ACCEPT TO IMPLEMENT THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON DEMOCRACY, ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE.

What I want to point out is that, we know by default the reasons behind migrations are mostly economic, political and social. And the asset provided by this above-mentioned African Union’s policy, that into force on February 15, 2012 and ratified by 23 countries (by February 2014), is outstanding in the fact it helps solve many and broad issues and challenges with respects to governance in Africa.

If we all agree that governance is the core issue that leads to bad economic systems, weak political environment and/or bad social development scheme, we all then agree that putting effort on implementing what’s already on the table is the most efficient and smart way of dealing with with migration, regardless of others policies on the human rights/migrants protection and soever. Indeed, the Charter recognizes the role of Civil Society, the private sector, women, social groups with special needs, youth and people with disabilities in the development of governance process as well as in the monitoring and implementation of the Charter. Plus, this charter is not only speaking to democracy and/or political issues, but the Chapter 9 promotes economic governance and social welfare, in about 16 articles.

That simply means that if we all (including Mr Assogbavi’s Organization – OXFAM/AU) work towards a stronger African Civil Society Community that stands for the lobbying, advocacy and push for an actual implementation of the African Charter on Governance, Elections and Democracy, at least in the 23 African members States that have accepted to be bound by the provisions of the charter by ratifying it (see => ), then we would have solved in a sustainable way many others issues around or leading to the migration.

That’s my call to all Pan-Africans, all CSOs, individuals and pressure groups to actively engage on this subject and move things as fast as possible for future generations. That would be our gift to the children of our children! Let’s do this!