International Youth Day 2020

“Youth Engagement for Global Action”


The International Youth Day (IYD), celebrated on 12th August each year, was established by the United Nations in 2000 as a means of raising awareness of issues affecting young people around the world. Each year the Secretary-General of the United Nations decides upon a theme for the Day on the basis of issues of concern to young people.

Young people are one of the main actors for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. Young people are engaged in frameworks and processes that support its implementation, follow-up and review. Young people in Africa are defined as those under the age of 35. Africa has the youngest population in the world, with more than 400 million young people aged between the ages of 15 to 35 years. Such a youthful population calls for an increase of investment in economic and social development factors, to improve the development index of African nations.1 Africa is the only region in the world where the youth population is increasing. Africa is a continent of young people, with 65 percent of the population below the age of 35 and nearly 50 per cent under the age of 19. It is vital that for a continent with such vibrant young people, they are informed and engaged with the global vision for the future and are provided with the resources to become engaged citizens.

International Youth Day celebrated every year provides us with a unique opportunity to take stock of actions that young people have continued to take to push global development. The theme for 2020 invites us to interrogate further into how we can better support young people to be at the fore of global actions to promote sustainable development.

Covid-19 has presented unprecedented challenges to the world. Education, food security, health and business are on the standstill in most Africa countries and women and girls and young people carry the weight of these challenges. We use the International Youth Day to draw attention to the enormous efforts by young people to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on gender equality and the health of all. Despite the challenges that this poses, young people have remained resilient and committed to gender justice. Young people like Mubiru Kuraish in Uganda who is doing door-to-door distribution of HIV medicine and food, continue to give us hope that there is much that young people can do. This is a promising practice, and we feel that young people should share stories about their commitment and resilience during this period, but most importantly, we need stories that will inspire others to take action.

So as part of the International Youth Day, through a webinar, we are profiling resilient young people and their efforts to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on the health and wellbeing of their peers across the MenEngage Africa network.

Objective of the Webinar

The goal of this webinar is to highlight the contributions of young people to reducing the impact of Covid-19 on their peers. The specific objectives are:

  • Present and Discuss promising practices from young people working to curb the impact of Covid-19 on their peers.
  • Stimulate discussion on how young people can be further supported to play a leading role in global actions.


This Webinar is open to young people from across Africa especially young people from across the MenEngage Africa network

Expected outcomes:

It is anticipated that at the end of the webinar:

  • At least 5 promising practices from young people who have played a leading role in building resilience since the onset of Covid-19
  • Share experiences on the integration of Covid-19 preventive measures to work around gender equality
  • Initiate discussions on how resources can be provided to support young people working on


  1. Miangaly Randriantseheno: Member of the Network of Young Ambassadors committed to Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health – TanoraIray, Madagascar
  2. Julie Diallo: Programme Specialist, Gender, East and Southern Africa, UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund
  3. Duduzile Skhosana: Child Protection Programme Manager Save the Children South Africa
  4. Kuraish Mubiru: Executive Director, Uganda Young Positives
  5. Natenda Shira: Executive Director, Golden Centre for Women’s Rights Uganda

Date: 12th August 2020
Time: 10 AM South African Time

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 934 4574 3256
Passcode: 974368