2019 SVNP Annual Conference: Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire) | Wilson Center
15, Avenue Jean Mermoz, Cocody, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

2019 SVNP Annual Conference: Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)

A Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Conference co-hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Africa Program, the Centre de Recherche et d’Action pour la Paix (CERAP), and Centre Ivoirien de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (CIRES) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

15-18 July, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Africa is the world’s youngest continent with nearly 60 percent of its estimated 1.3 billion population in 2020 between 0 and 24 years old (UN Population Division). This ‘youth bulge’ will play a major role in shaping Africa’s future. The African Union has made engaging the continent’s youth in mainstream development agendas a priority on Agenda 2063. As Africa’s security landscape has evolved and as Africa’s demographic trajectory becomes more useful, the narrative surrounding youth has often been a negative one framing youth either as threats to peace and stability or as victims lacking agency. A more nuanced and complete understanding is needed to inform effective policies that engage youth in peacebuilding in Africa as well as tap into ongoing peace efforts and innovations by youth.

This conference will take stock of the current landscape relating to youth and peacebuilding in Africa by assessing the challenges, gaps, and opportunities. The conference will interrogate existing African and international peacebuilding architectures for youth, and evaluate the continent’s efforts at educating for peace. Other sessions will explore gender, youth, and peacebuilding, as well as how best to engage with a looming youth unemployment crisis, particularly as it relates to dignity, development, and peacebuilding. The conference will also share lessons learned, best practices, and policy options from policymakers, experts, and practitioners on transforming and advancing the agenda for youth and peacebuilding in Africa, including through more robust engagement with the innovations that youth bring to peacebuilding..

We hope that you will join us for these in-depth, forward-leaning discussions involving leaders from 22 African organizations working on peacebuilding in Africa.

Please plan to arrive 15-20 minutes before the start of each session.

Day 1: Tuesday, July 16

  • 8:45 am-10:00 am – Keynote: Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa: Challenges, Gaps, and Opportunities


  • 10:30 am-12:00 pm – Assessing the African and International Peacebuilding Architecture: Where and How Do Youth Fit In


  • 1:30 pm-3:00pm – Building a Culture of Peace: Educating Youth for Peace


  • 3:30 pm-5:00 pm –Youth Unemployment and Peacebuilding in Africa


Day 2: Wednesday, July 17

  • 8:45 am-10:00 am – Youth, Gender, and Peacebuilding in Africa


  • 10:30 am-12:00 pm – Policy Perspectives on Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa


  • 1:30 pm-3:00pm –Youth as Innovators in Peacebuilding: Dialogue with the Next Generation of African Peacebuilders


  • 3:30 pm-5:00 pm – Looking Ahead: The Future of Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa


About the Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding:

This conference is held as part of the Wilson Center’s Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding (SVNP). The SVNP is a continent-wide network of African policy and research organizations that works with the Wilson Center’s Africa Program to bring African knowledge and perspectives to U.S. policy on peacebuilding in Africa. Established in 2011 and supported by the generous financial support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the project provides avenues for African researchers and practitioners to engage with, and exchange analyses and perspectives with U.S., African, and international policymakers in order to develop the most appropriate, cohesive, and inclusive policy frameworks and approaches to achieving sustainable peace and state-building in Africa.