Be part of something bigger – the 5th Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit goes to Botswana

Reigniting collective youth participation beyond COVID-19: Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit's 5th anniversary is shaping up well ahead of its first ever showcase outside of the borders of South Africa - all the way to Botswana’s capital city of Gaborone.

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Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on young people and the role they play in driving solutions across the continent and African diaspora is essential to the pandemic response.

It is for this reason that the theme for the 2021 Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit seeks to unpack this important aspect; understanding the repercussions of Covid-19 and exploring what opportunities can be collectively seized to assist young people’s participation in decision-making that positively affect their lives.

True to form, the 5th Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit will be hosted from May 25 to 28 in Botswana under the theme: “Young people in Africa: Collective Participation and Power Beyond Covid-19 Pandemic”.

Founded by a youth collective in 2016, Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit was officially launched in 2017.

5 years on, the summit has reached over 60 countries across the continent and the African diaspora, and is finally ready to tour Africa and engage multitudes of young minds with raw leadership qualities and potential.

Elaborating further on this year’s theme, executive producer and BDBA Youth Summit co-founder Paul Modjadji, who describes hi involvement in the project as “one of the greatest privileges and empowering experiences one can wish” says Covid-19 is not only expected to have long-lasting sociopolitical and economic impacts on societies and respective demographics and groups, including young people.

“It has also unfortunately further exposed and deepened preexisting sociopolitical and economic challenges, as well as inequalities. Therefore it is important that there is a deliberate effort to tackle these issues, and as key drivers of Africa’s development, it remains critical that African youths remain active actors in the response to the pandemic and the continents development at large.”

5th BDBA Youth Summit – reaching out to young people from different African regions

The summit’s aim is to drive robust conversation and build collaborative networks made up of African youth in social and commercial entrepreneurship and leadership.

5 years on, Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit has engaged hundreds of young minds over 60 countries.

To mark the 5th anniversary of this distinguished platform, the BDBA Youth Summit 2021 will for the first time be hosted outside of South Africa in Botswana.

“We founded BDBA to be a collaborative and inclusive platform for African youth, by African youth. Our mission has and will always to be to host a platform where African youth set the agenda for deliberation on the renewal and sustainable development of the continent,” explains BDBA co-founder Nthabiseng Modjadji, adding that the organisation found it important in this regard to further position it as an accessible platform that young people from different regions of the continent can take its ownership.

The main conference takes place in a hybrid format in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, with multi-location satellite events taking place concurrently in Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Summit executive producer Paul Modjadji (middle) flanked by guests during the 2019 Youth Summit.

By moving from Johannesburg, South Africa to Botswana, the organisation showcases the fulfilment of one of its mandates to facilitate youth partnerships and collaborations across Africa. As BDBA Botswana representative Lorato Mudongo best puts it, “it is also an opportunity for Botswana youth to provide leadership in terms of steering conversation and interrogating topical issues across socio-cultural, economic and political spaces in Africa.”

Want to be part of “something bigger” and make your life more meaningful? Members of the public can tune in to the live broadcast and interact with summit’s delegates from BDBA Youth Summit YouTube and Facebook pages throughout the couse of the four-day summit.