PAN AFRICAN YOUTH LEADERSHIP FORUM (PAYLF) DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA: RENEWING THE VISION JUNE 18 - 25, 2007 ACCRA, GHANA FRIENDS OF AFRICA INTERNATIONAL (FAI) 2007 PROGRAM OVERVIEW PROBLEM The multitude of crises that beset Africa in the last three decades of the 20th century and which might continue to compromise the future of the continent, was largely two fold and inter-related. In the first place, it was a crisis in the value system(s) that inform our institutions; and secondly, it was a crisis of leadership. If Africans are to reclaim and realize their enormous potential, it is important that young leaders acquire skills, training, networking, and a continent-wide awareness of the challenges that face the continent. African countries are confronted by countless obstacles to development. Governments and civil society organizations toil to combat poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and underemployment, conflicts and displacement, and the HIV/AIDS crisis. The socio-economic problems faced by African nations have deeply rooted historical antecedents. Disturbingly, African youth are largely excluded from the policy debates and the identification of solutions to these key challenges. Nevertheless, it is young Africans who bear the burdens of Africa’s underdevelopment, widespread poverty, and health crises. Yet, despite their constituting a majority demographic in many African nations, they have few opportunities to contribute to dialogue on development alternatives. Friends of Africa International (FAI) believes that young Africans must be part of the development debate. As the continent’s future politicians, professionals and community leaders, African youth must be incorporated into such integrated development planning. If, as FAI believes, youth are among Africa’s most precious resources, they must be equipped with the skills and opportunities necessary to contribute to national policy dialogue. African youth must be afforded space to stimulate socio-economic and political development so as to enhance not only their own quality of life, but also that of all Africans and of future generations. Enabling youth involvement in African political discourse calls for appropriate training and education. Equipping young professionals with skills and knowledge to engage in political action will foster the development of the continent's future leaders. Further, the need to involve African youth in the development process has become unequivocally apparent. The World Bank World Development Report 2007 asserts that youth are daily confronted by risk, but are also in an age laden with opportunities- opportunities to advance themselves, their families, their societies, and their economies. It is this time in life where decisions are made that will determine how human capital is protected, developed, and utilized. Thus, it is imperative that youth are afforded access to quality education, health care, gainful employment, and are given a voice to exercise their rightful citizenship. The report affirms that the situation of youth today presents the world with “an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate growth and reduce poverty” and that responsible public policy will play a vital role in realizing these potential gains. The World Bank report also suggests that policies should be analyzed through a “youth lens” and offers three strategic directions for policy reform: broadening opportunities for youth, developing youth capabilities in making informed choices among opportunities as responsible agents, and offering second chances to those who have been affected by past misfortune or poor decision-making. In order to apply such a youth lens such a “youth lens” to policy analysis and development programming, FAI has organized this Pan African Youth Leadership Forum to be held in Accra, Ghana from June 18-25. It will provide a venue for young Africans to be heard on the issues that they deem most pertinent to Africa’s youth. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES * To encourage the active participation of youth in community leadership and public policy formulation. * To create an ongoing dialogue between young future leaders and African leaders on renewing the vision of democracy in Africa. * To provide these delegates with strong practical and theoretical knowledge and skills needed to promote democracy in Africa and to strengthen democratic values. * To draft action plans to tackle issues faced by African youth. These action plans will draw upon the information obtained during the first 3 days of educational workshops and dialogues as well as from the knowledge and expertise of the delegates. * To create a platform for assembling some of Africa's dedicated, promising, and most proactive young individuals who are well informed in order to promote dialogue among them and foster exchange of information and perspectives on common problems faced by African youth. * To enable networking among delegates, facilitating the exchange of productive human and material capital. STRATEGY The Pan-African Youth Leadership Forum will be a one-week program to be held in Accra, Ghana in June 2007. Participation will be limited to 106 delegates drawn from as many as Africa’s 53 countries as possible. The first three days will be focused on dialogue with international experts from Africa and elsewhere. This will be accompanied by skills building workshops on human rights and democratic governance in Africa, using models from countries with enduring democracy. Building upon personal expertise and on the training participants received from the forum, the fourth day will feature regional dialogues on plans of action, strategies for implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The fifth day will be an international conference where dignitaries in decision-making bodies of the continent will be presented with our recommendations. Participants will be able to have a one-on-one discussion with Heads of State present in Ghana for the Africa Union Heads of State Summit at which the plight of African youth and the development process will be addressed. On the final day, the participants will embark on a field trip to historical sites in Ghana. PLEASE NOTE, MOST OF THE SESSIONS WILL BE CONDUCTED IN ENGLISH. HOWEVER, ENGLISH - FRENCH - ENGLISH TRANSLATION WILL BE PROVIDED. PROGRAM FOCUS This one week intensive program will focus on but not limited to the following key issues in Africa: * Democracy in Africa: Past, Present and Future Perspective * Democracy and Leadership: Success Stories * The State of Human Rights in Contemporary Africa * Armed Conflicts in Africa: The Role of Youth as Change Agents * Free and Fair Elections in Africa: A Possibility? * Development and the MDGs: Can NEPAD Deliver? Activists working on the above areas are strongly encouraged to apply. SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS The forum will host approximately 106 African youth delegates from various nations. The delegates selected for participation will bring various areas of expertise, they will be among Africa’s most dedicated, promising and most creative young professionals. Each will have demonstrated a keen interest in Africa’s development, and will be actively engaged in promoting human rights, democracy, good governance and social justice in their respective countries. Emphasis will be placed on African young adults aged between 25 - 35 years, who: - Have demonstrated leadership in their different constituencies - Are committed to the social and economic development of Africa building on the legacies left behind by the founders of the Organization of African Unity now African Union. - Are actively engaged in civil society and the rebuilding process who are able to empower others. TIMING AND COMMITMENT The 2007 Pan African Youth Leadership Forum - PAYLF, will run from June 18 - 25, 2007. Participants must commit to fully prepare for and take part in the forum throughout its duration. Selected participants will be required to write a short paper and prepare a presentation about their work in advance of the forum orientation. FUNDING A limited number of scholarships will be offered for this Forum. We strongly encourage applicants to submit their application materials as soon as possible. Applicants should indicate in their application if they would like to be considered for scholarship. APPLICATION DEADLINE Completed applications are due by May 10, 2007. Applications may be sent by fax, email, or post. Applicants should take into consideration the time it takes for international mail to arrive. All application items must be received by the deadline. Application forms can be downloaded at: http://www.fafrica.org/youthleadership.htm STATUS NOTIFICATION Accepted applicants will be notified of their acceptance in the week of May 15, when the selection committee convenes. All efforts will be made to notify others of their status as soon as possible after this time. However, due to fundraising cycles that could affect the total number of scholarships, candidates whose applications have been declined may not be notified until June. Friends of Africa International, Inc. (FAI) 676A 9th Avenue, # 150 New York, NY 10036 USA Tel: +1 (646) 797-7115 Fax: +1 (480) 287-8290 Email: < > ======== Global Human Rights Education listserv ======= Send mail intended for the list to < >. Archives of the list can be found at: http://www.hrea.org/lists/hr-education/ **You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but please retain the original and listserv source.
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