The Centre for Research and Action for Peace (CERAP) will host a major conference as part of the Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding (SVNP), a network of leading African peacebuilding organizations. Organized jointly with the Ivorian Centre for Economic and Social Research (CIRES) and the Wilson Center, this conference will be held from 16 to 17 July 2019. The theme chosen is “Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa”.

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 “Young 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 in 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.

The Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding (SVNP) is a network of 23 African policy and research organizations that works with the Wilson Center Africa Program to bring African knowledge and analyses on peacebuilding in Africa, particularly as it pertains to policymaking. This project provides avenues for African researchers to engage with, inform and exchange perspectives with U.S., African and international policymakers in order to develop the most appropriate, cohesive, and inclusive policy frameworks for peacebuilding and state-building in Africa.

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