Our Story


The Breaking Down Borders Africa Initiative is a pan-African platform led by African youth for the benefit of African youth. The initiative is inspired by the vision of Enabling African youth to connect and share skills towards the renewal of the continent. To this end, the Initiative is invested in bringing all Africans together, to write the future of Africa and share skills and experiences in an inclusive space.

The Initiative sought to address gaps that hindered youth development work within the social and entrepreneurship landscape. Chief among them are:

The inability for African innovators to create lucrative careers from their talents and to gain access to international platforms, particularly on the African continent.

Lack of access for African youth to share expertise and skills across borders.

Lack of investment by Africans in Africa.

These identified challenges are what inspired the initiatives flagship programmes:

    Breaking Down Borders Africa Tour: launched in 2016, the Breaking Down Borders Africa Tour is an exchange programme founded with the purpose of seeking youth collaborative opportunities, advocating for quality-accessible education and youth entrepreneurship while exploring the destination countries’ arts, heritage and tourism.

      The Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit – hosted annually with a view to bringing young leaders in different fields and professions together to share skills and experiences and collectively write the future of Africa on an inclusive platform. Thus far the summit has hosted close to 250 young leaders from 18 African countries who are trailblazers in education, entrepreneurship, socio-political movements and corporates and different fields.

      BBDA Pillars


      BDBA offers a platform for networking and collaboration between African youth. Our programmes are designed to bring African youth to collectively identify and reconceptualise what it means to be an active citizens, while promoting regional regional integration and social  cohession for the African Union’s shared values of greater unity and integrity.  


      BDBA provides an inclusive platform for youth engagement. Through our various programmes, BDBA provides:
      • An inclusive, nonpartisan (objective) thematic dialoges that allow young people to share their views and experiences.
      • A space for policy makers, political and private sector leaders to consult and engage with African Youth.
      • Outcomes that are informative, consultative and constructive for youth policy development and implementation .
      • A space for African youth to be collaborators in writing Africa’s future.


      BDBA promotes African youth capacity development through offering platforms for skills development and exchange. Through partnerships with leading institutions , youth led and focused organisations , BDBA hosts training workshops, opportunities to present research findings etc.


      August 2016

      BDBA is founded with the launch of the BDBA Tour.

      Between August 2016 and 2018

      The BDBA tours 12 Countries in Africa and the diaspora collaborating with and creating a network of young African leaders in the NGO, arts and entrepreneurship space.  African States: Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Diaspora: Jamaica and USA.

      BBDA Youth Summit

      • 15 – 20 May 2017 – Hosted Inaugural BDBA Youth Summit from the, in Gauteng, South Africa.
      • 14 – 18 May 2018 –  2nd BDBA Youth Summit from the, in Gauteng, South Africa.
      • 22 – 24 May 2019 – 3rd BDBA Youth Summit hosted in Gauteng, South Africa
      • 25 – 29 May 2020 – 4th BDBA Youth Summit. The first Summit to be hosted virtually, attended by over 300 delegates from 50 countries.

      Over to 800 youth have participated in the Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit since the inaugural summit.

      A total of 60 states in Africa and the diaspora have been represented at the BDB Africa youth summits. 

      A 13-part docu-series as well as a full documentary of the first BDBA tour is currently in post-production.

      The BDBA has garnered PR value of R6.2 million since inception