2017 was both challenging and a rewarding year for #NAYDSDGs. The enthusiasm of the first meeting in early January 2016 and subsequent establishment of 7 person teams in 36 African countries was mostly lost by the middle of 2017, with perhaps the late postponement of a planned meet-up in December 2016 a major contributor to this loss of momentum. Face to face meetings were carried out in June with teams including Zimbabwe, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Benin, Mauritius, Malawi, Mozambique. The following is a brief summary of the findings:-

Lack of knowledge of the SDGs; strong individuals ineffective together; objectives of the initiative not known; localisation of the SDGs a challenge  – need to be broken down to real situations to make sense; a lack of trust leading to a lack of synergy – competition and collaboration; government repression in some countries; unwillingness to piggyback NAYD to their own activities; a disconnect with Country Coordinators; funding; access to the internet; lack of face to face meeting to move things forward; team members involvement in other activities; work is voluntary so difficult to focus on NAYD activities; scattered location of team members. Those who had the opportunity to meet created wider networks including with CSO’s, local UNDP office, private sector.

Respondents agreed the initiative was a good development and to stay committed;  a fantastic space for youth in Africa to share information and knowledge in that it reaches the rural areas which has long been the toughest of challenges for national authorities in Africa; happy that this initiative helps African youths have a common progressive platform to meet people of like minds; must stay apolitical as needs a partnership with the government and UN to have a real chance to be effective; may not gain traction if sold as a standalone initiative; will achieve its objectives if it is inclusive, well structured and has material and financial support.

The following recommendations were made by the country teams:

  • Countries without active teams identified and replaced.
  • SDGS awareness and capacity building opportunities identified and intensified
  • Understanding of the #NAYDSDGs should be re-emphasised
  • Identify ways to improve team coordination and effectiveness.
  • Support team to explore external relationships in the countries to build more collaborative options
  • Opportunity to meet together with other country teams. Hence a need to organize a workshop as soon as possible.
  • Resource mapping is urgently needed to carry out strategic activities. Need to source for funding to carry out activities.
  • Implement a program that will make everyone active.
  • Encourage capacity building workshops to enhance knowledge.

2nd Anniversary of the SDGs

To mark the 2nd anniversary of the SDGs, NAYD members, supported by the Global Action against Poverty joined the whole world on the 25th of September, the Global day of action to remind the world leaders to stick to their pledge. NAYD members participated in the following actions:

  1. Public Events and actions: NAYD members from Burundi, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Somalia conducted public events and actions in marginalized communities. The public events and actions included Youth roundtable discussions, SDGs Awareness, mobilisation of children to participate in the SDGs, photo actions, e.t.c
  2. Social Media Campaign: NAYD reached out to thousands via social media to disseminate the findings of the questionnaire on people’s perception of the SDGs implementation. Over 32 countries participated with over a 100 hundreds responses. The responses were disseminated via twitter and Facebook. 18 countries – Burundi, Kenya, DRC, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Chad, Mauritius, Egypt, Uganda, Somalia, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Togo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Burkina Faso participated in a Photo collage tagged WE REALISE THE SDGs BY…. to raise awareness of the sustainable development goals, raise their voices and tell world leaders how we are progressing on the achievement of the SDGs. Uganda and Cameroun members also made videos to call on national authorities to implement the SDGs. A video of all these activities was also produced. A United Kingdom media house published NAYD article on the African youth perspective of the SDGs. Here is the link to the video and article:
  3. Public Statement on SDGs Implementation: NAYD through its Research Desk unpacked the findings of the Research Desk’s first study themed ‘Innovative led ways of Dealing with poverty’’. The findings were disseminated through Social media. The study revealed the status of the SDGs implementation in various African countries and called upon leaders to take action for the achievement of the global goals. The researchers also organised a photo competition on the best picture to describe poverty in Africa. There were joint winners from Ghana who will share the prize money to implement a project in their communities.
  4. MY World 2030 surveys: NAYD mobilized young people through its facebook pages and groups with over 80000 Members including 75,000 on facebook, 3000 on yahoo and google groups, over 1000 on LinkedIn and through its collaborative partners African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) and Organization of African youth (OAY) to fill the survey and participate in the thunderclap.

Time was the biggest challenge with late mobilisation limiting the time to ensure wider participation, reach out to traditional media and the maximum participation of NAYD Research Desk, all lessons learnt and will be put into better consideration for future programs.

Sola Folayan – #NAYDSDGs team lead