Young Leaders Forum

  • Photo: FES / Laurens Kymmell

In Tanzania, two out of three people are younger than thirty years. Thus youths make up the vast majority of the population. From this demographic advantage derives the potential to influence the political direction and support democratic change in the country. Paradoxically, youth participation in political organisations is minimal and insignificant due to nepotism and undemocratic, strictly hierarchical structures. Furthermore, unequal education opportunities and lack of self-confidence hinder young people from participating in politics.

To support a more active role of the youth, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung developed the Young Leaders Forum (YLF) where youths are trained in various aspects of leadership. The one year program brings together youths from different backgrounds such as political parties, government institutions, NGOs, student organisations, and trade unions. The YLF is a multidisciplinary capacity building program that covers areas of politics and public administration, economics, media and communication as well as management skills. It furthermore touches issues such as gender, HIV/Aids and human rights.

The main objective of the program is to enable the participants to become capable and reliable leaders who play a significant role in the democratic transformation of their institutions and Tanzania as a whole. In addition, the program aims at creating a networking atmosphere among the trainees and their institutions.

The program has been running successfully since its establishment in 2001. Many of the graduates are now actively involved in politics as high government officials, members of parliament or civil society leaders. Recently a new YLF Alumni program has been launched to further enhance the exchange among former YLF trainees and open up space for collective political action.

Video: FES-Young Leaders discusses African Agency

"China’s Role in Africa is highly controversial. Some see China as a neo-imperialist power, others as Africa’s economic saviour. Yet, the "Real Story of China in Africa" seems much more complex and contradictory. In November 2015 the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Tanzania Office, gathered 46 Young Leaders from eight East African countries to discuss how African agency can be strengthened in the Sino-African relationship."


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