ZAYRAH Africa: Call for PIONEERS!

17747_517165498352116_656722182_nZAYRAH Africa is a volunteer-involving Youth development Agency, created in March 2012 with aim to alleviate poverty amongst young people in Africa by promoting good governance that advance Africa development Agenda. More specifically, ZAYRAH Africa conducts programs based on and advocacy around the provisions enshrined in various regional policies, treaties and protocols that promote Youth rights (and human at large), Youth empowerment and their full participation into the continent development. Headquartered in South Africa, ZAYRAH has expanded its programs and activities to Tunisia, Benin and is currently working towards establishing offices in Kenya and Mozambique as part of its institutional development strategy. Since its inception, ZAYRAH has expanded to Benin and Tunisia where programs have being implemented using youth empowerment tool such as volunteerism and active citizenship to foster governance and youth participation in the countries development.

As part of its 2013-2016 strategic plan, ZAYRAH Africa will, by end of this year 2016 open its last 2 offices: 1 in Nairobi to cover, spearhead and coordinate activities in the 18 African English speaking countries and 1 in Mozambique for the 6 Lusophone countries (Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Angola and Equatorial Guinea). As ZAYRAH is working on its new strategic plan 2017-2020 and in transition to a new leadership, the organisation is calling for few volunteers to join its team.


  • Two (02) Digital Youth experts Online Youth Volunteer to help in the marketing, branding and web design to (re)built ZAYRAH Africa’s website.
  • Three (03) ZAYRAH Officers (Youth volunteers) to work for ZAYRAH in Nairobi, Kenya Office to spearhead, coordinate and implement programs and advocacy strategies in the constituency.
  • Three (03) ZAYRAH Officers (Youth volunteers) to work for ZAYRAH in Maputo, Mozambique to spearhead, coordinate and implement programs and advocacy strategies in African Lusophone countries.

 For what?: Under the supervision of the Institutional Development Manager and ultimate direction of the Executive Director, The Country Officers (4) of each new office will coordinate activities in their jurisdiction, will participate in the Board of Directors’ meeting and advise on programs to implement annually in their scope of work area. The Head of Offices will lead a team of 3 plus volunteers for their programs, will spearhead the advocacy and programs, and lead everyday activities. The Country Officers, as pioneers will be to (1) ensure that their entities are legally registered in accordance to their home country’s policies, by end of December 2016; (2) conduct a short research on Youth development policy in their country. The online Volunteers (2) are to help ZAYRAH build a new, smart, friendly-usable and interactive website as well as design new branding materials. The online volunteers will work from October 15th to December 15th.

Profile of candidates?

  • Dynamic Students/recent graduates or any young African aged between 24 – 29,
  • No previous experience is mandatory, as ZAYRAH Africa seeks to empower its members on the learning-by-doing basis,
  • Interested in volunteerism and willing to build career in international development with focus on human security and/or human rights;
  • Team player with a global mindset, culturally sensitive with values of integrity, active participation.
  • Creative, Passionate about and willing to create sustainable future for generations to come through a sustainable organization that works for and with young people to help achieve Agenda 2063 vision,
  • Available to work 10 hours per week on ZAYRAH’s programs / activities,
  • Knowledge of African Union policies and previous experience in any youth organization are desirable.
  • Knowledge and ability to work in English is preferable.

When and how?: Interested candidates are to apply by August 28th. Only pre-selected candidates will be contacted for interviews scheduled to take place early September 2016. Final decision will be made by end of September and new team members will be expected to assume duty on October 15th (for everyone), after an e-meeting is convened by the Board of Directors to welcome newbies. Non-selected applicants might be given priority to volunteer on program/project of their interest, sanctioned by a certificate of end of service. TO APPLY CLICK HERE

Contact Information:

Go and like ZAYRAH Africa Facebook page : For more queries, please drop and email to Mr. Octavio Diogo, ZAYRAH’s Institutional Development Manager, , or

Apply Now: African Union Volunteers – 7th Cohort Recruitment (2016)

(The author of this blog is sharing this opportunity because he is an AUYVC Alumnus. Read his experience here)

yvc-new-smallThe African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC), established in 2010, is a continental development program that promotes youth volunteerism in Africa. The program aims to deepen the status of young people in Africa as key actors in Africa’s development targets and goals, enhancing their participation in policy development as well as design and implementation of relevant interventions towards the AU Vision of ‘the Africa we want’. It brings people together to share skills, knowledge, creativity and learning to build a more integrated, prosperous and peaceful Continent driven by its citizens. The volunteering opportunities are intended to build professionalism and a sense of responsibility among the participants, thus enhancing their employability.

Young African Professionals are recruited to serve for a period of 12 months as AU Volunteers in an AU Member States other than their own. The next intake of volunteers for deployment in 2017 will be 02nd – 22nd August 2016.

Eligibility Criteria: Applicants have to meet the following criteria:

  • Citizen of AU Member State or African Diaspora;
  • Age 18 – 33 years;
  • Has a post-secondary certified qualifications (TVET, Bachelor’s degree or equivalent)
  • Available to dedicate 12 (twelve) months for volunteer work;
  • Willing to live and work in another AU Member State;
  • Is proficient in at least one official AU language (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese);
  • Has at least one year verifiable volunteering experience and one year professional work experience.

Eligible Fields of Qualification: For the next intake of AU Youth Volunteers, the following fields of qualification and expertise are required: Accounting, Agriculture, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Diverse Natural Science Fields, Economics, Education, Environmental Management, Human Resources Management, Human rights, International relations, Journalism, Law, Political Science, Gender studies, Space Science, Statistics, Translation/Interpretation.

Application Process:

  1. Register on the AU-YVC Database (
  2. Read carefully the information on the website
  3. Build Your Profile
  4. Attach the following:
    • Scanned copy of identity page on your passport
    • Highest qualification degree
    • Letter of Recommendation
  5. Submit application (latest by 22nd August 2016 midnight Addis Ababa time – GMT+3)

 *Late applications and applications that do not contain all requested documents will not be considered. *THOSE WHO HAD APPLIED BEFORE ARE REQUESTED TO RE-APPLY.

Recruitment Process:

  • 23rd August – eligibility Check;
  • 15th September: Successful applicants will be notified;
  • 15th October – 01st November: AU-YVC pre-deployment training;
  • 2017: Deployment of trained volunteers.

Volunteer Entitlements:  For the successful candidates, the African Union Commission and partners will cover the full costs of their pre-deployment training and cost of their deployment. On deployment, the African Union Youth Volunteers receive the following:

  • Economy return air ticket from home town to place of deployment
  • A modest monthly stipend
  • Health insurance cover
  • Separation allowance on successful completion of twelve months

More Information: For more information, please contact Ms Prudence Ngwenya (Head of Youth Division); Mr Daniel Adugna (AU-YVC Program Manager)  ,,


Apply: African Union Regional Youth Consultation

Deadline: Friday July 15th, 2016

downloadThe African Union Department for Political Affairs, under its African Governance Architecture secretariat, is organizing four regional youth consultation forums across the continent under the theme of “African Union’s Year of Human Rights with a specific focus on the Rights of Women.” These forums aim to provide a collaborative, open and inclusive space for young people to offer input into the African Union’s 10 Year Human Rights Strategy.

Young women and men from North, West, Southern, Central and East Africa will come together to discuss various ways to contribute to the promotion of human rights on the continent. Each of the regional consultations will focus on four broad thematic areas, which will be discussed in groups. The themes include:

• Young Women’s Rights
• Governance, Peace, Security and Migration
• Inclusion, Diversity Management and Popular Participation
• Employment and Mobility

In order to be considered for participation the entire application form must be completed by Friday, July 15, 2016. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Click here to Apply

Source: AGA Platform Website

Dr. Zuma is Leaving and African Youth Hope for Zuma 2.0

Time is up for African Union Commission (AUC) Chair Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who  said she would not run again. Her term, which was entrusted to her by the African Union Heads of States in 2012, ends July 2016

We remember how tedious her election process was for Yayi Boni, former President of the Republic of Benin After so much back and forth, the AU Commission got its first ever chairwoman, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who replaced  Jean Ping.

In February 2013, I met H.E. Dr. Zuma when she paid a surprise visit to the Youth Division of the AU Commission to inquire about its service and their proposal and/or suggestions to advance youth initiatives. Imagine my shock when I heard that she was the first chairperson to show interest in youth service, wow.

This month, the African political sphere is actively in search of the next AUC chairperson and youths cannot afford to miss this opportunity to share their views and suggestions, or be part of the sustainable solution. Even though the nearly 1 billion youth are not in a position where they have a say to select candidates for this top leadership position of the organization. The young people who have witnessed the work of the Commission, under Dr. Zuma’s Leadership, wonder who amongst the candidates, will be able to carry on her legacy on Youth Agenda advancement. Moreover, the next AUC Chairperson, whose term commences in 2017, will be working towards an agenda of Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Africa Towards the Realization of Sustainable Development Goals and AU Agenda 2063.”  The next term will not only be a new era for 2018-2021 strategic planning, but a test for the successor on youth matters.

Dr. Zuma’s Legacy on Promoting the Youth Agenda in Africa.

4-f8taIUAs an African Union Youth Volunteer (AUYV) alumni, I will share my perspective on Dr. Zuma’s legacy in the Commission through the eyes of a youth.

Dr. Zuma’s approach was to develop a well defined strategic plan that would highlight Strategic area number 5,  to  “Mainstream ( women and) youth into all AUC activities.” While partners welcomed and applauded this “first ever, well elaborated strategic plan,” (using the words of a high official in a foreign government agency), this was a major milestone for any stakeholder to accompany the AUC work and to channel resources and energy towards achieving greater results for the African Union. Over the past four years, this has resulted in increased funding for youth related programs that foster skills development for youth throughout the continent.

On May 2013, while celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the OAU, Dr. Zuma strongly advocated for an investment in African youth, more interaction between youths, heads of states and government officials, and further pledged for a Youth Desk. Few months later, she appointed a youth advisor in her office and since then, the AUC host an annual inter -generational dialogue to promote youth mentorship, candid debates and discussions between political positions holders, experts and youth from all six regions of the continent, in order to stimulate ownership of youth agenda by the involved parties.

Overall, Dr Zuma’s leadership has been instrumental in mobilizing more resources and creating additional programs for youth development namely, the AU Youth Volunteer program, the African-German Youth Initiative (exchange program) under the Youth Division, the Legal Associate Program for junior legal experts posted mostly in the Office of Legal Council, the placement of returning Young African Leaders Alumni (Mandela Washington – YALI fellows), as well as the deployment of hundreds of AU volunteers across AUC departments and Liaisons Offices throughout the continent. Most important, Dr. Zuma’s office is staffed with at least 6 youth volunteers, what an achievement!

Dr. Zuma availed herself to young people, both virtually and physically, be it through her attendance at a youth  gathering (chiefly the 2015 Inter-generational Dialogue in South Africa where she invited youth to invade political space), or through a series of tweet-chats and other online social media platforms. But it is the participants of the 10th Africa Regional Convention of Girls Guides and Girls Scout who recall the full participation of Dr. Zuma at their August 2013 event held in Lagos. Although she had a hectic schedule, she spent two days with Continental Volunteers, an organization committed to community service and young girls and women’s development.

Certainly, four years is not enough time for Dr. Zuma to implement her youth agenda. She strongly believes that education is key to unleashing a youth’s potential and innovation in the quest for a people-centered development for Africa through the Agenda 2063. Unfortunately, she may not be able to complete her project to transform the Youth Division into a full, capacitated department of the Commission before her departure.

However, Dr. Zuma’s legacy extends beyond youth issues. The power that lies in her leadership has inspired more women to run for political positions. We see that two out of the three candidates to replace her are females, ,H.E. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Botswana and Dr. Wandira Kazibwe Speciosa, former Minister for Vice President of Uganda, who is currently serving as Advisor for Health and Population to President Museveni.

The Dr. Zuma 2.0 African Youth Want!

If the elections take place in Rwanda this month, there will be three candidates to choose from. In addition to H.E. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi (Bostwana) and Dr Wandira Kazibwe Speciosa (Uganda), there is a male candidate from Equatorial Guinea, Mr. Agapito Mba Mokuy . The candidates are eligible and more than capable to politically hold the position. The question is, which candidate is more youth-friendly and ready to take on the challenge of creating a better future for African youth? Who has the vision with regards to youth development in Africa? Who has more political willpower to gain stakeholders’ interest in the African Youth agenda? Can/should youth expect someone with no interest in youth issues, in his/her country, be able to work wonders at the Commission?

Zuma’s successor must have had previous work experience in youth related issues that speak for itself. African youth desire someone who will advocate for more youth-centered approaches for all of Africa’s challenges. She/he must be ready to advocate for the domestication of ALL AU policies, frameworks and binding instruments that secure social security to youth including the African Youth Charter, The Charter on Democracy, Governance and Elections, and make AUC departments, organs, programs, activities and AU decisions more youth-friendly. As a former African Union Youth Volunteer (AUYV), I would like to see the AUYVs have a standing and that budgets are allocated to programs where every young African benefits.

Whoever is elected by the AU Heads of States needs to know that there is no future for Africa without adequate investment in its youth. They would need to establish a legacy greater than Dr. Zuma’s.! We, the youth, await the next AUC chairperson who will push the youth agenda and give us The Africa Youth Want! Youth Hope for Dr. Zuma 2.0!


Crisis of Leadership or Crisis of Values in Africa?

amb-fred-ngoga-gateretse-african-union” I often hear that Africa is confronted with a serious crisis of leadership, that Africa knows how to uplift itself out of poverty, that we know how to genuinely stand on our own feet politically, economically and in terms of our security but that our challenge remains our deficit in leadership.

I submit that this might be true but it might be an incomplete story. Leaders are the product of our societies. If our societies are sick, we will produce sick leaders. If our societies are healthy and promote the right values, we will produce leaders with a sense of purpose and direction.

Allow me to make a few points. And these are my personal opinions.

  • First, you cannot have a leader who was not taught to respect human life and ask him to respect human rights.
  • Secondly, you cannot have a leader who was not taught that stealing is bad and ask him to fight corruption.
  • Thirdly, you cannot have a leader who was not taught fairness and ask him to strengthen judicial institutions and democracy.
  • Fourth, the building of our nations will depend, largely, on the values that we give our children.
  • Fifth, African values such as respect for human life, others, not stealing/lying, tolerance, fairness, hard work are a MUST for children if we want great future leaders.

Let me conclude with a quote from the late US President Ronald Reagan who once said that “all great change begins at the dinner table.” Great African leaders will be built at the ‘dinner table’.

Let’s spend more time with our children, give them the best values that we can because this is what will equip them with the necessary tools to deal with tomorrow’s challenges.”

This Opinion, we thought we could share is shared by Ambassador Fred Ngoga on social media.  Ambassador Fred Ngoga Gateretse is a Burundian diplomat currently serving as Head of Conflict Prevention and Early Warning at the African Union’s Peace and Security Department PSD (AUC).

Haiti will not be admitted at the African Union – Here is why!

For the past 3 weeks, media outlets have made some legally “erroneous” announcement that Haiti would join the African Union during the forthcoming AU Summit happening in Kigali, Rwanda. Which was s surprise for me, and I wondered: On which basis that could or would happen? When did the African Union change its Constitutive Act for Haiti who is not located in the continent to belong to such Union?

Although I didn’t have chance to go back to the AU Constitutive Act, I could not just justify and being convinced of Haiti membership, as having worked around the AU Commission, the first criterion for any country to sit in the AU Assembly is the geographic one: being in Africa.

As the summit is getting closer, the African Union Commission has just released a communiqué which totally rejected the possibility of Haiti to be member, on the simple and unique basis of the Art: 29.1 which clearly stated that: Any African State may, at any time after the entry into force of this Act, notify the Chairman of the Commission of its intention to accede to this Act and to be admitted as a member of the Union.”.

The simple exercise for someone with law background could make everyone understand that ONLY AFRICAN STATE can belong to the African Union, enforcing the geographic criterion as the first,  main and automatic one.The press release reads as follow:


Press Release Nº180/2016

Haiti will not be admitted as African Union Member State at next Summit in Kigali, Rwanda

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – 17 May 2016: The African Union Commission informs the public that Haiti will not be admitted as a Member State of the African Union (AU) at its next Summit to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, as erroneously reported by several media outlets.

According to Article 29.1 of the AU’s Constitutive Act, only African States can join the African Union.

Given the importance that the AU accords to the African Diaspora, it has developed strong cooperation with sister States in the Caribbean region and citizens of African descent around the world.

The AU was pleased to welcome Haiti’s President Michel Martelly and his Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe to its Summits in the past as Special Guests, and the AU had a high level delegation at the celebrations of the 200th Anniversary of Haiti in Port-au-Prince, in 2004.

The AU Commission has a Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora Organisations (CIDO), bestowed with the responsibility to facilitate direct peoples’ involvement through Civil Society Organisations from Africa or the Africa Diaspora that wish to interact with the African Union as the “sixth region” of Africa. The proposed 6th Region made of the African Diaspora still awaits ratification by AU Member States.
Worthy of notice is a special Summit organized in Johannesburg, South Africa, in May 2012, to deepen the relationship between the AU and the African Diaspora. The conclusions of the Summit are in the process of being implemented.


Africa’s global influence depends on youths’ voice

By Sekou Touré


The annual Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa that was held in Ethiopia mid last month brought together African Heads of State and Government representatives, academicians and opinion leaders.

The theme “Africa in the Global Security Agenda”, was equally apt and timely. The informal nature of the discussions allowed participants to engage in frank and honest debates on the gains, challenges and possible solutions to peace and security issues on the continent.

The general consensus of participants was the slow but increasingly influential role of Africa as a key actor on the global stage within a systemic balance of power that is gradually shifting from a unipolar and towards a more multipolar system. This slow but steady rise of Africa is contrary to previous decades, especially during and in the aftermath of the Cold War era when the continent was viewed as a mere pawn on the global political chessboard.

The emergence of new economies, more so China, has presented Africa with more trading opportunities as well as easy access to grants with minimal pre-conditions.

In essence, the relations between Africa and its new “friends” have to an extent provided the continent with leverage on the global stage. This has been witnessed by power plays in the Security Council, in most cases mainly between China and Russia on one hand, and the United States and its allies on the other. The power plays have more so been with regard to key peace and security issues affecting the continent.

Despite the slight, but increasing assertiveness of Africa’s voice on the international stage, the continent still has a long way to go before it can forcefully stump its authority on key global institutions, particularly in the United Nations Security Council.

In light of these, one of the main challenges that came out during the forum was the lack of internal institutional funding for the African Union (AU) to effectively and efficiently tackle peace and security issues afflicting the continent.

The other hindrance to Africa’s voice on the global stage was cited as disconnect between the AU and representatives of the continent at the United Nations headquarters. This has led to conflicting diplomatic stand on various issues of interest to the continent.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that the varied sovereign States across the continent have their own interest that they aim to protect and promote. Hence, unless the AU member states agree on and adopt a common supranational kind of foreign policy on major issues of concern to the continent, Africa’s stand on the international stage will be of less impact than other global actors and regional players.

Despite these challenges, the future of a brighter or bleak Africa depends more importantly on the political goodwill of its leaders to establish and strengthen fundamental institutions and organisations from the regional level, through sub-regional and national levels, to the sub-national levels.

The increased participation of youth in the discourse of key issues affecting the continent is likely to accelerate the attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063, positioning the continent as an indispensable actor on the global stage.

In contrary, the continued marginalisation and disenfranchisement of Africa’s young population is likely to undermine the economic gains that the continent has gained over the last decade.

Article Previously published in Standard Media, Kenya