Preparations underway for the International Conference on Youth and Democratization


ECA Press Release 179/2012

Addis Ababa, 30 October 2012 (ECA) - Preparations are underway for the International Conference on Youth and Democratization in Africa. The event is a joint initiative of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and is scheduled to be held from 1-3 November 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to the organizers, the Conference is taking place against the backdrop of recent youth-led revolts and rebellion in North Africa and the Middle East. These events aimed at seeking voice, power, and economic empowerment, which constitute a manifest struggle for democratization in those countries. In this regard, these events have re-opened the discourse about democracy, democratization and the role of youth in governance in the developing world. The Conference will serve as a platform for inclusive policy dialogue and experience sharing between various youth constituencies across countries and regions in Africa.

The main objective of the conference is to address the issue of youth and democratization in Africa with emphasis on comparative experiences and lessons learned, as well as policy implications for African countries. The objective is especially significant for North African countries that are currently in the process of democratic transition. The conference will also share comparative experiences from Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The outcomes of the conference are expected to increase knowledge on the role of youth in democratization process across countries and regions in Africa; better policy options for integrating youth in institutional, political, democratization and governance processes in African countries; enhanced policy discourse on youth economic empowerment in Africa; and the articulation of immediate and future strategic engagement of youth in promoting sustainable democracy and economic development in Africa.

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© 2012 Economic Commission for Africa