Dakar, Senegal—Young social entrepreneurs in Francophone Africa will soon benefit from advanced training, networking, and funding opportunities through Innove4Africa, a leadership training initiative launched by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and local partner Synapse Center, in collaboration with The MasterCard Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The institute’s goal is to equip young French-speaking African leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to strengthen and scale up their social change projects.
Innove4Africa is the newest member of IYF’s YouthActionNet® global network, which now comprises 13 national/regional youth leadership development programs across the globe. The 25 youth to be selected as the first class of Innove4Africa Fellows in September 2013 will join a distinguished pool of 730 YouthActionNet Fellows leading positive change in 73 countries.
“We are thrilled to be working with our trusted Senegalese partner, Synapse Center, to launch the first-ever YouthActionNet social innovation institute in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said IYF President and CEO William S. Reese. “Thanks to the generosity of our regional partners, USAID and The MasterCard Foundation, Francophone Africans, ages 18 to 29, will now have access to the remarkable leadership training and networking opportunities offered by YouthActionNet. Through Innove4Africa, we aim to create a vibrant network of innovators across the region who will support each other as they tackle the myriad challenges facing their communities.”
In response to the US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa’s call to empower the next generation of young African leadership, IYF aims to enhance the knowledge, leadership skills, and opportunities of young African social entrepreneurs through the creation of two regional social innovation institutes. Innove4Africa is the first of these institutes; the second, for Anglophone Africa, will be based in Uganda and is set to launch in late 2013. Fellows in both institutes will be equipped with the personal and organizational leadership skills needed to strengthen and expand the reach of their projects within their target communities, thereby contributing to the vision of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
Qualified youth in Francophone African countries have until July 20 to apply to be part of the first class of Innove4Africa Fellows.