Partners: ongoing and past collaborations

African Union Commission

The African Union (AU) consists of 54 African States, working towards the shared vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.” The AU’s secretariat is the African Union Commission (AUC), which manages the day-to-day running of the Union and the promotion of common policies within it.

What the AUC does on youth
The AUC has been active in addressing youth issues in Africa. In 2006, it launched the initiative for the African Youth Charter (AYC), a basic and legal framework to guide and support policies, programmes and actions for youth development in Africa The Charter outlines the rights, freedoms and obligations of African youth and is meant to institutionalize youth participation at national, regional and continental levels.

The AUC has been instrumental in translating the political commitments of the Charter into concrete action. It created the following:

  • Programme of Action for the 2008 Year of African Youth.
  • Plan of Action to ratify, popularize, and implement the AYC (2008-2015).
  • 10-year Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment and Development in Africa (2009-2018).

In addition, the AUC is looking into the establishment of an African Youth Fund; overseeing the revitalization of the Pan-African Youth Union (PYU); and partnering with many stakeholders to promote youth empowerment on the continent.

What the AUC and UNESCO do together
The AUC is UNESCO’s main partner in UNESCO’s Strategy on African Youth. Many of the AUC’s own initiatives, particularly the African Youth Charter and the 10-year Plan of Action, share common elements with UNESCO’s Strategy.

Working with the AUC is key to achieving the following objectives of this Strategy:

I.    Strengthen available knowledge of, and promote research on, youth issues in Africa
II.    Policy dialogue and development

  • UNESCO and the AUC work together to assist governments to develop policies addressing the challenges facing African youth
  • Joint AUC and UNESCO initiatives to raise awareness for and further ratify the African Youth Charter.

III.    Youth participation in decision-making, youth civic engagement and social inclusion

  • UNESCO is working with the AUC to revitalize the Pan-African Youth Union, consolidate youth networks, and improve National Youth Councils.

Find out more on AUC

International Youth Foundation

Founded in 1990, the International Youth Foundation (IYF) works in almost 70 countries, maintaining a worldwide community of companies, foundations, governments and civil society organizations committed to improving the conditions and prospects of young people.

IYF’s initiative, the YouthActionNet®, launched in 2001, invests in the power of young social entrepreneurs around the world. It supports aspiring and accomplished young leaders by providing skill-building, advocacy, and networking opportunities that allow them to engage in addressing key challenges facing their societies and their peers, particularly the most vulnerable. The YouthActionNet® has an extremely active global alumni network, and is well supported by the private sector.

In support of the implementation of the UNESCO Strategy on African Youth, IYF signed a partnership with UNESCO in 2011 to develop a 3-year youth-led social innovation programme in Africa emphasizing “soft” skills development on social innovation and social entrepreneurship, support for youth employability and civil-society development. IYF is also the link between UNESCO and the Africa Fellows of the YouthActionNet®, who are important partners in this programme.

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Greater Horn Horizon Forum

Created in 2007, the "Greater Horn Horizon" is a forum for policy research, independently operated by and made up of researchers, academics and experts on the Horn of Africa and the Diaspora who wish to participate actively in the analysis and research of sustainable solutions to current problems faced by countries in the region.

In 2010, the Greater Horn Horizon Forum (GHHF) developed for UNESCO a study on the situation of youth in the Greater Horn of Africa, which was discussed at the Conference of Youth Ministers of the Horn of Africa countries (Djibouti, December 2010).

Find out more on the Greater Horn Horizon Forum [PDF]


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. UNESCO works with UN-HABITAT on youth development and youth violence prevention.

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TAFISA, The Association For International Sport for All

The Association works to bring joy, health, social integration and development to communities and citizens around the globe through the promotion of Sport for All and physical activity. TAFISA is supporting UNESCO’s Strategy on African Youth through a partnership signed in 2011 which focuses on the role of youth in national development strategies and the importance of their civic engagement, particularly through sport. It includes the development of the UNESCO-TAFISA “Volunteer Initiative for Peace through Sport” (VIPS) programme, which foresees education and development initiatives designed for young volunteers, to support social inclusion, integration, civic engagement and sustainability.

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Peace and Sport, Monaco

Founded in 2007 Peace and Sport promotes social cohesion and inter-community dialogue through sport. In support of UNESCO’s Strategy on African Youth, UNESCO and Peace and Sport signed a partnership in 2011, which focuses on the potential of sport in community cohesion, peace building and youth inclusion, particularly in Africa.

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