Deadline: March 10, 2023
About the Organization
The European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) leads a project funded by the European Union entitled ‘Women and Youth in Democracy’. As members of the EPD, the Kofi Annan Foundation jointly with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Oslo Center are seeking nominations for young leaders who have a proven interest in and track-record of working on issues related to democracy, accountability, transparency, and youth participation in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The selected individuals will join one of two ‘Accountability Hubs’ to be established in East and West Africa, in English and French, and will undertake a series of activities to:
• Increase understanding of the importance of accountability within democratic processes;
• Develop their own leadership skills through a targeted, comprehensive training and mentoring programme;
• Receive funding and training to conceive, develop and implement projects in their communities;
• Develop regional networks of young people working on similar issues with shared values; and
• Harness their shared experience and knowledge to produce a toolkit of actions which they and other young people can deploy in their communities.
We are welcoming nominations for young leaders from all sectors – civil society, politics, business, social media and art, who have the ability and networks to reach many young people through their activities.
About the Program:
In light of the current challenges to democracy globally and the urgent need for increased youth engagement and inclusion in public affairs, the project ‘Women and Youth in Democracy’ (WYDE) aims to improve the enfranchisement, empowerment and inclusion of youth at all levels of democratic participation at the national and regional levels in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With half of the world’s population aged under 30, the continued support for democracy is highly dependent on the engagement of its youth. However, young people, particularly from marginalized communities, are chronically underrepresented in politics, including in parliaments, political parties, local governments, and at the ballot boxes. Economic and educational barriers to youth participation are exacerbated by a lack of information and knowledge about democratic processes and accountability and ways of becoming active citizens.
The focus area of this project is Sub-Saharan Africa, as the home to all of the top 10 youngest countries in the world.
This Project aims to:
- Support motivated young leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa who through their networks can inspire and influence other young people to get informed and engaged in democracy and leadership issues in their countries;
- Recognize exceptional leadership or community engagement shown by young leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa on issues relevant to issues such as defending and promoting democracy; accountability and transparency in leadership; increasing youth participation in public affairs; giving a voice to young people who are excluded from or underrepresented in public affairs; and protecting and promoting the rights to freedoms of assembly, association and expression and media freedom;
- Provide the selected young leaders with a targeted, comprehensive training and mentoring programme together with other young leaders in a regional ‘Hub’, to strengthen their leadership and project management skills and improve their regional and international networks; and
- Provide the selected young leaders with an opportunity to apply for grants of 5000 EUR each for their own projects (according to defined conditions and criteria) that aim to increase youth participation in democracy in their region or country, as well as with support in designing and implementing their projects.
Selection Criteria and Process
The call for nominations will be publicly announced as well as shared directly with a wide range of organizations working on youth inclusion, youth participation and/or democracy and leadership issues in Sub-Saharan Africa.
• Nominees must be aged between 18 and 35 at the time of nomination.
• Nominees must be able to display a record of engagement on issues related to accountability, youth participation, leadership or similar.
• Nominees must be residing in Sub-Saharan Africa.
• Nominees must be able to communicate fluently in either English or French, written and spoken.
• Availability for online training: Nominees must be available to take active part in the
online training and mentoring activities in the period May – September 2023. The activities amount to approximately 0,5 day per week for certain parts of the project (+independent learning in addition). Nominees must have access to the Internet, a
computer, and a suitable work environment to be able to focus and take active part in online meetings. A limited monetary contribution can be provided to help improve Internet access on a case-by-case basis, if needed (such as cost for working in an
Internet café or library).
• Availability for travel and taking part in the in-person event: Nominees must be available to travel to participate in a one week in-person ‘Learning and Networking Event’ in either November 2023 for English-speakers or in February 2024 for French-speakers. Travel and accommodation for the in-person event will be paid.
Nominations are encouraged for all qualified candidates who meet the criteria, particularly from those groups who are traditionally under-represented in decisionmaking and public affairs, such as young women. The Kofi Annan Foundation, jointly with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Oslo Center, will review all nominations received to select the most qualified candidates, bearing in mind the diversity of the group, including the geographic and gender balance.
Submission of Nominations
We invite you to nominate one or more young people in your network who would meet the criteria. Nominating organizations need to submit:
• A detailed letter of support written by the nominating organization (maximum 500 words) explaining why they feel the young leader would be a great fit for the training programme and how they could contribute.
• The attached Nomination Form, duly completed by the Nominee themselves, describing their leadership actions and community engagement in support of democracy and youth participation.
• Other material can be included with the application, e.g., podcast or video, press interview, blog.
Please note that:
• Nominees should give prior permission for their names to be put forward and must be willing to take part in public activities in the context of the project, including social media activities.
• Nominations and supporting documents must be sent by the nominating organizations to the following email: WYDE@kofiannanfoundation.org.
• The nomination deadline is Friday 10 March 2023 at 5 PM UTC. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.