One year ago, Generation Democracy hosted its first event outside the U.S. in Dakar, Senegal and brought together 45 young leaders from the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal for a collaborative conference and advocacy skills workshop.  

From September 14th – 16th, 2016, Generation Democracy will be hosting a conference in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, gathering youth from the East Africa region and beyond to discuss issues of youth political participation and share their experiences with democracy-focused initiatives in their home countries.  

Generation Democracy, IRI’s youth initiative, is a global coalition of more than 400 youth organizations and thousands of individual youth in 75 countries around the globe. Generation Democracy is developing tomorrow’s democratic leaders by connecting youth across borders to share ideas and experiences. With its global network of youth, Generation Democracy allows politically engaged youth to learn best practices to improve youth political participation and make their mark on their societies. A primary goal of the initiative is to highlight the voices of our members, who are working tirelessly to expand the political rights of young people around the globe.  One of our amazing members is Mr. Mamadou Moussa Sanogo, a young man who is heavily involved in Mali’s civil society and works to expand political inclusion for young people in Mali’s political sphere.

Please read the interview below as the latest entry to our new campaign to tell the stories of our members, “Meet the Future.”

What is the name of the youth-focused organization that you are a part of?

Answer: “I am a member of the National Council for Malian Youth”(CNJ-Mali).

What initiatives has your organization taken part in that you are most proud of?

Answer: “My organization’s main objective is to reinforce youth’s civic and patriotic consciousness while working with public figures and decision makers in order to help them better assist youth in Mali. Our organization also launched an initiative in 2015 which focused on the fight against violent extremism. As part of this, I am proud to announce that we trained 300 peace mediators with the assistance of the US Embassy in Mali.”

What is your vision for your country’s future?

Answer: “My vision for my country (Mali) today, is the implementation of a Peace and Reconciliation Accord to raise awareness among a great number of youth in order to increase their interest in politics and lead to greater participation in elections. Also, I dream of a democratic and secure Mali.”

How can youth achieve that vision?

Answer: “In order to establish this vision, youth must not only contribute through reading and observing but they must also take part in (political) decision making processes.”

What is your initiative doing to achieve that vision?

Answer: “My initiative contributes to the implementation of this vision because – in my country – youth represent 60 percent of the population, which is the absolute majority.  Youth must therefore be concerned with all aspects of this vision (for taking a more active role in politics).”

Why is bringing youth together from around the world important?

Answer: “It is crucial to gather youth from around the globe in order for them to develop a leadership policy that can address current challenges faced by us all.”

How can youth change the world?

Answer: “Youth can change the world through strong political engagement with a peaceful spirit and according to democratic principles.”

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