African GNYA Members' Capacity Increased in Harare
The Global Network for Youth Action recently convened ten organizations from Sub-Saharan Africa, representing the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, in Harare, Zimbabwe for a 3-day capacity building training from April 16-18, 2018. The training was supported as a larger initiative by the National Endowment for Democracy to create Country Cohorts of Global Network organizations for increased country-level collaboration. The following organizations attended the training:
DRC: All for Social Justice, Buswe Institute, Jeunesse Consciente et Responsable du Congo (JCRC), Jeunes Patriotes Congolais (JPC), and NZOLANI. Zimbabwe: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN), Constitutional Enforcement and Development Advocacy Forum, Community Youth Development Trust, Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET).
The goals of the training were to expand each participating organization’s understanding of: civics education, activism expertise and organizing frameworks, promoting youth civic engagement during upcoming election cycles, fundraising best practices, and develop a collaborative community of civic education organizations. The three-day training provided a mixture of panel discussions, participatory exercises, workshops, and opportunities for networking among each each other, and with members of Zimbabwe’s civil society.
A highlight from the training was the execution of a youth dialogue, held on Zimbabwean Independence Day, which gathered over 70 young people from the University of Zimbabwe and Chitungwiza town in Harare. The dialogue provided a space and opportunity for youth, and members of the GNYA, to discuss the role of youth in Zimbabwe’s independence movement in the 20th century, and the importance of youth engagement in the upcoming 2018 elections. Country Cohort members, university students, members from civil society, and aspiring politicians spent four hours in open dialogue, determining that the challenges youth have (such as high rates of unemployment, frustration with current political norms, etc.) political solutions, encouraging men and women to think inclusively about political participation - ensuring women’s voices are heard in debates, and strategies for enforcing their burgeoning democracy.
The training has produced a wave of momentum amongst the attendees and Global Network at large. The 10 organizations will reunite in late-November for an end of year conference in Harare.