Plenary Sessions

Conference Discussions (Plenary Sessions) – 1H30/2H00


Format: Moderated Panel Discussions,

Main speakers time: 15 OR 30 minutes,

Panellist time: 10 OR 15 minutes,

Question and Answer time: 55 OR 45 minutes. 

  1. Welcome and Introduction of main speaker – Moderator
  2. Main Speakers Address
  3. Panellist Introduction – Moderator
  4. Panel Speakers Addresses
  5. Moderator-curated questions and discussion
  6. Audience Engagement
  7. Closing of Discussion


The conference discussions are the foundations from which all recommendations from the Summit are developed.




The 2018 Conference Plenary and Breakaway Session themes are derived from the African Union Youth Charter, the recommendations formulated during the plenaries will be submitted to the Youth Division of the African Union. The 2018 plenary themes are:

  1. National Youth Policies and Youth Participation
  2. Eradication of Harmful Social and Cultural Practices
  3. Sustainable Livelihoods and Youth Employment
  4. Poverty Eradication and Socio-Economic Integration of Youth


Breakaway Sessions: Education and Skills Development

  1. Insuring Access to Education for All African Girls –African Leadership Academy
  2. The Decolonisation of Education –: TMALI
  3. Language Imperialism In Modern-Day Africa –University of Johannesburg

Plenary 1:


The African Union Youth Charter highlights the necessity and importance of youth meaningful and constructive participation in the development of their countries and the continent. As it stands, most African countries have not yet adopted Youth Policies with only 26 countries having done so.  The focus of this theme is to interrogate barriers at local, national, and continental level hindering young people from fully participating in decision making processes and bodies. Discussions will also current youth policies and their implementation taking note of the intersectional challenges facing African youth, and strategies of strengthening meaningful youth participation in governance and policy making positions.


Main Topic: National Youth Policy and Youth Participation

Panellists Topics:

  • Creative Voices and the Pursuit of Social Justice
  • Deafening Silence – The Absence of the Youth Voice in Policy-Making Positions  
  • Good Governance and The African Agenda

Plenary 2:


 Focus: Although Article 5 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ ‘Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) explicitly requires States Parties to prohibit and condemn all forms of harmful practices, such as FGM, which negatively affect the human rights of women and girls and other key populations, many African countries still practices those. This session will facilitate collaboration with youth in Africa and the Diaspora; to make concentrated efforts of eliminate all forms of discrimination against girls and young women;  key populations and the elimination of any obstacles towards the full integration of disabled youth. 


Main Topic: Elimination of Harmful Social and Cultural Practices

Panellists Topics:

  • Exploring Gender Diversity and Poverty in the African content.
  • I am Because We Are –  African Youth in the Diaspora partners in the Continents Development.
  • Reclaiming the Public Space – Women’s Bodies are Not Public Property
  • Breaking Barriers – Addressing wrongful rituals including the killing of people living with albinism.

Plenary 3 and 4:


Africa has the majority of its people being under the age of 35years old, which serves as a huge opportunity to harness the demographic dividend. This theme is making a special focus on the right of African youth to gainful employment and participate in the labour market. Emphasis is made towards discussions on the regulation of the informal sector, equal inclusion of women and other minorities in all sectors that offer employment and promotion of youth entrepreneurship. Panellists will explore strategies and best practises on ensuring young people have sustainable livelihoods, through strategies including; training to access agricultural, mineral, industrial production, entrepreneurship focused school curricula, business expansion skills development, mentorship opportunities, access to markets and access to funding/credit. Plenary 3 will focus on Reshaping Africa’s Brand and Plenary 4 will focus on whether Policy regulations and whether current policy regulations are enablers or inhibiter of youth pursuing entrepreneurship on the continent.


Plenary 3:


Panellists Topics:

  • Why Women’s Economic Inclusion is vital
  • The Future if empowerment in property development.
  • The Future is Female: Women in the lead!
  • How Media Shapes Brand Africa

Plenary 4:


Panellists Topics:

  • The Importance of encouraging local procurement –Speaker:  Proudly SA Representative

  • The Impact of Information and Communication Technology in Small, Micro and Medium Sized Businesses

  • Removing the Red Tape – How to ensure policy regulations are enablers of youth entrepreneurship.

  • Creating an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem for African Youth

  • Topic Reserved for Sponsor/Partner

Plenary 5:


Focus: One of the major challenges facing African countries, and consequently its young people, is poverty and food insecurity. This theme will explore strategies that seek to eradicate poverty at all levels. Some of the strategies the panellists will elucidate on , include promoting the use of modern and innovative information and communication technology strategies to gain access to existing and new markets  by young people. Panellists will also speak to interventions and best practises towards creating space for young people to innovate, use agricultural resources and to be a part of policy making bodies that seek to adequately eradicate poverty In the continent.


Main Topic: The Fourth Industrial Revolution – How Africa Can Lead the Way

Panellists Topics:

  • Drivers of Change – African women in Innovation.

  • Innovation in Entrepreneurship.

  • Green Innovation – Addressing present and emanant Environmental Challenges (including Food Security)

  • How Can Generation X,Y and Z Coexist and Learn from each other? 

  • Topic Reserved for sponsor/partner

Breakaway Session: Education and Skills Development

Focus:In Nelson Mandela’s words ‘It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor’, education remains an important tool in liberating the people of Africa. There however, is a need to facilitate access to quality education for all, including to girls, people living with disabilities and other key populations. The theme will focus on discussions to locate and create opportunities outside of formal educational institutions, so as to preserve and strengthening of African morals, traditions and cultures. Furthermore, facilitators will interrogate the decolonisation of scholarship and pedagogy, to ensure an Afrocentric approach to education.

Breakaway 1: The Decolonisation of Education. Facilitator: TMALI

Breakaway 2: Insuring Access to Education for All African Girls. Facilitator: African Leadership Academy

Breakaway 3: Language Imperialism in Modern-Day Africa. Facilitator: University of Johannesburg, Department of African Languages.

The Next Generation, Creating The Legacy

The Next Generation, Creating The Legacy discussion will have young African trailblazers engage and interrogate how we, as young Africans can actively create our own legacy beyond all the socio-economic and political barriers , therefor creating the Africa We Want. This session will consist of two sessions:


  1. The Socio-Political Disruptors
  2. The Economic Disruptors


Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit Workshops

Session 1:      

  • GOOGLE Digital Workshop.
  • Redbull Amaphiko – Social Entrepreneurship Workshop


Session 2:       

  • ICT for SMMEs. Suggestion:
  • Africa’s Microeconomic Prospects/Forecast.