The Pan African Youth Festival is an African Youth forum of African Youth Federation that brings together African youth, members and youth leaders to awaken their conscious and catalyze their active engagement with African integration. The overarching goal is to put African youth firmly at the center of integration processes, bring in their creative energies and issues into the fore and build a strong social fabric for the integration process, interact with leaders and policy makers to interrogate the current continental issues. It’s Africa´s most inspiring youth event that celebrates, empowers, and connects the African youth innovators, conveners and breakthrough actors driving Action for the Agenda 2063/ Sustainable Development Goals and transforming lives and generating practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems.
The Pan-African Youth Festival is anchored on Arts, Culture, technology and conversations which offer young Africans an opportunity to engage on multiple platforms and critical issues. Participants engage in wide range of robust activities ranging from self-organized coverings, solidarity marches, music, cultural expressions and sports.
The Pan African Youth Festival springs from the need for young people owned and driven African cohesion processes as envisaged in the Article 26(i) of the African Youth Charter which calls African youth to fully promote patriotism towards and unity towards the cohesion of Africa.
As referred to in Agenda 2063, Aspiration 6 states that the realization of tangible actions by 2063, are to also include the insurance that development in Africa is people driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth. It is aspired that by 2063, we will have an Africa that has engaged and empowered youth. Therefore on that note, The Pan African Youth Festival 2018 theme will focus on interrogation of the youth participation towards the progress of Agenda 2063. We would like to focus on our role youth especially in economic development.
Over the last decades, Africa has been experiencing rapid technological and economic development creating new opportunities for millions of people all over the continent.
However, with more than 226 million people aged between 15-24, Africa has the youngest population – and the highest youth unemployment rate (60%2) – in the world.
Lack of employment opportunities, low levels of education and skills combined with limited access to sexual and reproductive health services, have resulted in a generation of young people with limited association to the formal job market.
However, Africa’s youth represent a significant asset for sustainable growth if the demographic transition (characterized by an increase in the working age population) is appropriately harnessed.
The Pan African Youth Festival is designed to realize Africa’s demographic dividend by combining elements of skills development, entrepreneurship, access to jobs and finance, awareness raising on issues related to youth development, and promotion of youth citizenship and leadership. By changing mindsets, engaging youth in national policy, fostering solidarity, engaging youth in delivering SDGs/ Agenda 2063. The Pan African Youth Festival will empower 200 million African Youth to take a more proactive role in shaping their future.
The main objective of the festival is to interrogate the journey that youth have taken in their participation in 2030 and 2063 agenda, and provoke innovative strategies towards increased and more effective involvement of this significant demographic group towards its implementation.
- Promote an open, inclusive and vibrant African youth society;
- Sensitize participants on the African perspective of sustainable Development Goals
- Provide a platform for robust engagement between the young people and leadership within the African union processes and in the governance and development processes across the continent;
- Provide a platform for cross-border inclusive interaction, appreciation and celebration of the continent’s diversity and to build intentional cross-border solidarities, especially among young social movements and communities at the grassroots, and
- Build a groundswell of knowledgeable and engaged young citizenry to impact the policy and political spaces in the African Union integration Foster interaction and integration of young Africans through Dialogue
- Policy Dialogues Deepened; Policy dialogue remains the public’s weakness in spite of overall strength. The imperative is to make the young people’s voice count in the policy process. The Pan African Youth festival provides a viable forum for public engagement in the policy debate. Policy dialogue will be deepened, gaps defined and popular input made to inform key policy processes.
- Strategic Alliances Forged; The Pan African Youth Festival will facilitate building of purposeful cross-border alliances and solidarities for the young African community participatory transformative change and advocacy.
- Capacities Strengthened; The Pan African Youth Festival will provide opportunity for cross-border skills and knowledge sharing and transfer amongst young Africans. It will also facilitate sharing of experiences and learning among
- Advocacy Enhanced; The Pan African Youth Festival is committed to enhancing the youth capacities and effectiveness of social movements in driving Africa’s turning point towards a positive transformative region. Effective advocacy campaigns are and have been proven to be a key tool for social movements. The Pan African Youth Festival is therefore dedicated to strengthening the advocacy effectiveness among social movements in the
- Fast-tracking of African Youth Charter implementation by different youth stakeholders in the region
- Strategic Reach Extended; The Festival also seeks to expand the influence of young social movements and to promote innovations for greater effectiveness. The Pan African Youth Festival will provide an opportunity for extending these frontiers.
- Civic Awareness, Competence and Engagement enhanced; The ultimate objective is direct and substantive civic participation. Enhanced civic awareness and competence are a pre-requisite. The Pan African Youth Festival is a critical contribution to this end, providing as it does an opportunity for the freest and most robust space for this realization.
The Festival shall start with conversations around but not limited to the following Convening’s: Constitutionalism in Africa; Democracy and human rights; Social Justice; Youth and Leadership; Food Sovereignty, Seeds and Climate Justice, ; Sports for Development, Tourism, Health, Technology, Peace, Security and Militarism in Africa and Arts, among others. A new lineup of entertainment includes open mic sessions and exhibitions.
The pre-festival activities shall also be inclusive of the Pan African Youth Festival mobile drives, twitter debates on inclusive integration, marathon, social media publicity and we shall do strategic engagements with African Union structures and member state bodies related to integration in a bid to shape policy debates and influence Africa Bills so that they can be responsive to the African Youth.
The Pan African Youth festival days shall involve a series of process events as; Academy, Self-organized Convenings, Art Performances, Solidarity Processions, Road-shows/community outreach and Film Week/day, Public Lectures and finally the exhibitions;
- a) Academy; The Academy is a platform upon which collaborative efforts amongst numerous interested and optimistic African youth shall stimulate the active active participation of their kith and kin in the intergration progress. It is a venue for conversations, which co-create, educate and celebrate. The academy aims at being reference point for interrogating ideas around regional intergration and best practice with respect to rights; with a particular emphasis on the active pursuit of second generation rights and interrogation of the evolving policy and political developments within the continent. The aim is to interrogate youth developments within the continent and consider independent research findings/reports in order to build a strong traction within the non-state/civic in the widest sense
The Academy brings together public intellectuals and researchers/research institutions, Social Science Researchers, Researchers, social movements, young artists and activists and policy makers and youth leaders in structured, but robust discussions. The discussions will be structured around symposia and open fora in order to achieve both in-depth analysis, but also provide for cross-pollination across the different subject matter. The Academy will feature a master class.
- b) Self-organized Convenings; The core of the Pan African Youth Festival is the Self-organized Convenings. This embodies the spirit and philosophy of this space-that any interested parties are free to organize around issues that are of greatest interest or concern to them; and that they will freely meet and run their Convenings as they deem fit. However, each Convening is requested to develop proposals and/or resolutions to be presented to the Festival in plenary for adoption and action.
The Pan African Youth Festival will feature the following 10 Self-organized Convenings;
- Peace, Security and Militarism in Africa
- The Role of African youth in the implementation of Sustainable development Goals/ Agenda 2063
- The place of the African youth in shaping governance
- Food Sovereignty, Seed Justice and climate Justice
- Gender and Equality convening
- The African Youth Charter (youth policy)/ African Youth Decade(Plan of Action) and its implementation (Achievements and challenges)
- The Youth and Social entrepreneurship Convening
- Community Tourism
- Sports for development
The aim is for these Convening to provide a platform for cross-border and/or collective action.
- c) Art Performances; Art and culture are proven potent media for transformation and revolutionary economic change. This is also a great cultural melting pot, where diverse cultures are eloquently demonstrated through dance and song. Dance and song have been, and still remain powerful media for change in Africa. The Pan African Youth Festival particularly promotes conscious music and this has become an important space for the emerging artists with conscious music. The Festival will however be open to all other forms of art and music as well in celebration of diversity. The first day of the Festival may be entirely dedicated to performances.
- d) Solidarity Processions; Solidarity processions will be key part of the Pan African Youth Festival. They are a form of outreach with the aim of stirring interest and engaging with ordinary young citizens in the streets on specific aspects of the pan-African unity/cohension process.
- e) Road-shows and Community Outreach; Road-shows are a proven effective means of reaching a wider audience within the geographic location of the Festival. Featuring interactive sessions with audiences in different public centres, the roadshows are both an effective means for mobilization of the general public as well as of gauging their level of understanding and engagement at the grassroots levels. The roadshows are also an opportunity for receiving people’s feedback providing useful insights into the perceptions, interests and priorities of ordinary citizens in the integration process.
The roadshows will be conducted as part of the build up to the Festival as well as during the Festival itself, with the aim of reaching directly at least 10,000 young people with the Festival key messages in creative and interactive ways.
- f) Film Week
The Film Week is a side-event during the festival that features conscious films from within and outside of the continent. The films will be open to the public and will also open debates and discussions with the audiences.
- g) Public Lectures
The Public lectures are will be open and free to the general public. Featuring keynote speakers, the lectures are aimed at broadening engagement with the wider public on select topical issues.
- h) Exhibitions
Exhibitions will feature leading and most current research work, art and culture as well as youth innovations in agricultural enterprises and other sectors.
Young professionals and students from different corners of the African Continent will become participants of the Festival. Age of participants from 18 to 35 years. The most active young people, leaders in their fields from the African Continent will come to Uganda. Overall expected number of participants of the Festival 500 – 1000 young people, who will successfully pass the stages of selection. The image of the future developed by young people from all the inhabited corners of the African continent will become the result of work at the Festival, because their decisions will determine the fate of countries, regions and the continent at large.
This Festival will be held in Kampala, Uganda. Fondly known as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is a great choice; known for its rich and vibrant cultural heritage, history, majority of its population being the young people, intellectual discourse as well as its great geography. With the enchanting source of the Nile, Uganda is a profile of Africa’s resilience and evergreen optimism. The Ugandan society has lived through an epic history of glory and horror but today stands unbowed in its quest for substantive peace and democratic governance.
The Pan African Youth Festival (PAYF) is driven and hosted by African Youth Federation, an umbrella body for youth organizations in Africa premised on the notion that youth have an integral role to play in the development of their respective nations It aims to see a repositioned, redefined and enhanced role of youth in community, national, regional and global developmental processes. Coordination; Capacity building; access to social services and effective youth platforms are hallmarks in AYF’s work.