Youth Empowerment

Youth Mobilisation and Empowerment in Africa - Leaders of Today

A strong network of young people in Africa is playing a key role in driving Africa’s development and conservation agendas towards green growth and sustainable development.

By 2025, innovative youth-led actions drive policies and sustainable practices that enhance the integrity and ecological functionality of critical ecosystems and wildlife, address climate change and improve food, water and energy security in targeted countries.

At WWF, we firmly believe in the role of the youth in creating change. WWF in Africa is engaging with the youth through the Africa Youth Transformational leadership Programme (AYTLP).  The programme seeks to empower and mobilise the youth of Africa to bring about transformational change in regard to promoting conservation and sustainable socio-economic development. The objective of the Africa Youth Transformational Leadership Programme is to engage youth across the region to promote sustainable lifestyles and futures.

By being aware of their rights and the benefits sustainable Natural Resource Management (NRM) models can offer, youth can play a vital role in creating and promoting innovative and sustainable Natural Resource Management (NRM) models and influencing policies. For youth at 18 years or less, the focus is on building their skills and capacities to engage in activities that promote sustainable development and demonstrate sustainable lifestyles.

In Cameroon, we scout for opportunities to engage in strategic partnerships on youth entrepreneurship, developing and disseminating communication products intended for youth, to raise awareness of the rights and benefits from green entrepreneurship for sustainable development.

We are setting up or strengthening incubator schemes for entrepreneurship and facilitating access to youth champions who receive support as rallying points for age-appropriate young people (aged 15-34 years as defined by the national policy) and their networks. We also engage with partner institutions to develop capacity of youth NGOs and networks on Education for Sustainable Development, green entrepreneurship, sustainable leadership, associations management, HRBA, communication and scaling up methods.

In addition, youth NGOs and networks will be linked to regional hubs to foster lessons and solutions sharing, as well as technical support and mentorship in green entrepreneurship. They will be supported to develop and implement advocacy strategies and plans to influence the translation of the Pan African Youth strategy into national policies that support ESD mainstreaming and youth participation in decision-making related to conservation and green growth. Their capacity will also be developed to influence the development and implementation of national ESD strategies, curriculums and accompanying pedagogic guides.

Key Areas of Intervention

  • Youth engagement in advancing policy and promotion of best practices;
  • Capacity development for creating awareness and action on Sustainable Lifestyles and Futures;
  • Green entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth;
  • Establishment and strengthening of existing Youth Networking Platforms at National and Regional levels.

Current Key Programmes in Africa engaging with the Youth

  • Leading the Change: Africa Youth Thematic Hub engaging African countries under the Sida Civil Society Strengthening Programme. Countries: Cameroon, DRC, Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe;
  • Zambian Youth for Conservation, Agriculture and Livelihoods Action;
  • Our Cities 2030: Youth Visions and Solutions. Countries: Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia & the Philippines for South – South Learning;
  • Green Horticulture at Lake Naivasha Project. WWF Kenya;
  • UNESCO–WWF Joint Flagship Project on Capacity Building of Young ESD leaders in Africa.

Africa Youth Leadership Award

In 2016, WWF in Africa initiated a youth leadership award to recognise young African leaders that have made transformational impact in the fields of conservation and sustainable development.
  • 2016 Africa Youth Leadership Award Winner  – Brighton Kaoma (Kenya)
  • 2017 Africa Youth Leadership Award Winner –Monique Ntumngia (Cameroon)
  • 2018 Africa Youth Award champion - Iddi Hamis Nyachenga (Tanzania)
WWF UNESCO Joint Flagship Programme
© Janet Mukoko/WWF
Youths are keen in safeguarding their cultures and traditions
© Janet Mukoko/WWF
Brighton Kaoma, 2016 WWF Africa Youth Leadership award winner, received by the US President - Barrack Obama
© Martin Harvey/WWF
Africa Youth Award Logo on Victora Falls, Zambia
© Martin Harvey/WWF
Iddi Hamis Nyachenga, 2018 Africa Youth Award champion form Tanzania