In January 2020, Africa Matters in collaboration with SunEko Ethiopia hosted the Youth
Leadership Development Program to equip and empower 50 Ethiopian youth with leadership, soft, social entrepreneurial and advocacy skills. SunEko is a social development initiative aimed at supporting vulnerable children from heavily burdened communities who may otherwise not be able to fulfill their dreams due to the harsh environment they grow up in. The workshops were facilitated by Farai Mubaiwa- Co-founder of Africa Matters and Ephrem Bekele( Executive Director of SunEko Ethiopia)
The group of attendees had diverse backgrounds with some being in high school, others
completing their tertiary education (with 18% pursuing Masters degrees), others working fulltime and some found themselves unemployed. While their backgrounds were diverse, the one aspect the attendees had in common is their energy, excitement and hunger for knowledge and skills development. 90% of attendees heard of the workshop through social media, and 10% through word of mouth. This demonstrates the fact that social media often transcends boundaries and is a powerful tool to reach and empower youth.
The attendees provided overwhelming positive responses to the workshop material, facilitator and the overall workshop itself. 96% of attendees enthusiastically focused on the African Leadership Module, as they believed they needed to further grow in both how they lead themselves and how they lead others. The second most-wanted module was that of
‘Communication’. Many workshop attendees aimed to become better orators, and be able to
express their thoughts confidently and cohesively in English.
Throughout the two days of the workshop, youth were engaging and indicated that, they had
learned so much from the workshop especially about the aspects that they were least interested in coming into the workshop. Furthermore, they expressed that this experience has taught them that they should avoid biases about certain topics when going into workshops as it might turn out to be the most useful material that they need to solve various socio-economic issues.
Below are some of the comments that attendees expressed upon completion of the workshop:
● “This is a great and promising initiative, thank you for your time, dedication and
● “Great work, the program is really informative and is exactly what Ethiopia needs to
● “The program should continue as it is, thank you for engaging with us”
The overall data from the workshops has been incredibly positive. See below some infographics on our impact and feedback from the attendess:
The two workshops mark the commencement of Africa Matters presence in Ethiopia. Following the workshop, Youth Leadership Development Teams in Ethiopia have been established and will be lead by passionate workshop attendees. SunEko Ethiopia is now an official implementation partner of Africa Matters in Ethiopia.
The next Youth Leadership Development Program is taking place in Lagos, Nigeria on the 7th of February 2020.
African Youth, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Authors: Mbali Mbatsana
Co-Author: Farai Mubaiwa