Wed. April 13, 12:00-1:00 pm
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21st Century African Leaders: Youth Leadership for Development Participants' Views on Current and Future Leaders
Rehana Odendaal (Penn Sociology and GSE)
THE LAST TWO DECADES HAVE SEEN A NOTABLE INCREASE IN THE PREVALENCE OF YOUTH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS targeting young Africans. While these programs differ along a range of dimensions – geographic location, definitions of youth, program format to name a few – an apparent shared focus is their view of youth leadership education as a developmental solution for the African continent. By framing youth as “the next generation” of African leaders, and these programs both implicitly and explicitly seek to find solutions to a perceived crisis of leadership, which some argue is responsible for the continents continued socio-economic instability. REHANA ODENDAAL uses discourse and thematic analysis to identify how approximately 200 Youth Leadership for Development (YLFD) programs operating in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa frame concepts of social responsibility, citizenship, and democratic participation. These three democratic nation states are useful case studies because of their economic and political regional influence as well as the prevalence of Youth Leadership for Development Programs in each state. By providing a framework through which to better understand the types of “future African leaders” being imagined by various state and non-state actors in the Youth Leadership for Development landscape, Odendaal seeks to understand contemporary discourses and practices related to democracy and citizenship in the African context.