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    Thursday, July 19, 2018

    How African Youths are influencing policy decisions in their continent

    How African Youths are influencing policy decisions in their continent
    Young African Leaders Journal of Development (YALJOD)

    By: Dr. Sara Amar

    Every two years, young Africans submit development researches and ideas to the Young African Leaders Forum (YALF) - a South African based organisation - to be published in their journal of development. This journal of development happens to be the first youth-led journal of development in the continent, and it is biennially published and launched in partnership with the African Union Commission at the African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    Policy making processes and other vital decisions in Africa do not always lay primacy to the needs of young people - and one of the negative effects is the zero involvement of youth in the continent’s leadership. However, things are beginning to take good turns as Botswana recently appointed a 31-year old Minister of Trade and Industry. Other African nations are also recently adopting youth-friendly political policies.

    YALF understands that the only way Africa, which is the most youthful continent in the world, can overcome her challenges of underdevelopment is for her young people to be fully engaged in strategic leadership processes and decisions. This is why the idea of the journal was invented; it would host scholarly analysis and competing viewpoints about the development of the continent.

    Speaking on the objective of the journal, the President of YALF - Prince Ifoh - said, “Our motive is to garner the ideas of Africa's young people as regards the development of our continent. We want to know what young people are thinking and suggesting as possible ways of overcoming the obstacles that are impeding our development as a people. In the end, we will present strategic ideas to policy makers for implementation or execution”.

    The maiden edition of the journal was launched in partnership with the African Union Youth Division at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia. Copies of the journal were subsequently freely donated by the organisation to the AU, CODESRIA, several public and university libraries in the continent and government parastatals. Through the partnership of Kennesaw State University in  United States, the electronic version of this historical journal is also made available to the diaspora and the entire globe. (See www.digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/yaljod)

    The next edition of the journal is set to be launched in October 2018 by YALF and the AU African Governance Architecture at the African Union headquarters. While addressing the media, President Ifoh again asserted that “This is a pan-African project so we are inviting the entire public to the launch - including policy makers and stakeholders of the continent”.

    About the Author
    Sara Amar IYF Representative, Morocco

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