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Promoting Youth Leadership

Promoting Youth Leadership

More than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. While young people have every opportunity and right to participate fully in the lives of their societies, they are often left on society’s margins: as a group, they are affected by discrimination and lack of access not only to employment and education but also to decision-making processes that define the course of their future.

  • 57% of the voting population are young people
  • 6% of the parliamentarians are under 35 years old
  • 66% of young people globally feel that their government does not care about what they think.

Young people have the energy, creativity and idealism to challenge entrenched patterns of exclusion and injustice and should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Even though young people are not a homogeneous group, they are uniquely placed to bring positive change in society. Social media and new technologies are embedded in young people’s lives, and that knowledge can be used to catalyse collective action. Therefore, youth is in a central position to drive positive transformation, acting as key agents for development and peace.

“Any society that does not succeed in tapping into the energy and creativity of its youth will be left behind.” – Kofi Annan

What we believe:

The Kofi Annan Foundation believes that young people are not passive objects of policies or politicians but active agents of change. This significant proportion of society must have the right to actively shape the present and the future of the world and be recognised in doing so.

What we do:

The Kofi Annan Foundation fosters dialogue and leadership among young people by offering a platform where they can express their ideas and propose solutions to major public issues. In addition to advocating for the participation of young people at the highest levels of decision-making through Promoting Youth Leadership work area, the Foundation supports a network of young leaders to prevent violent extremism through its Extremely Together initiative.