About aynm

A network of networks

AYNM offers a powerful platform which amplifies a diverse group of youth networks /organisations to form a collective, cohesive, strategic voice to engage with crucial stakeholders in asserting our presence and fundamental space in shaping the transformation of Africa. AYNM also aims to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and stability across the continent. This initiative is led by Mrs. Graḉa Machel who has built successful movements across Africa in women and child rights. AYNM is incubated under the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS). MINDS has a special focus on youth’s active participation in and engagement with development, political and governance processes.

Our Background

The Graca Machel Trust, together with the Mandela Institute of Development Studies initiated a conversation with twenty-seven organisations working in the youth leadership sector to understand their willingness to collaborate towards the creation of a Pan African Youth Leadership Movement and their needs from a digital platform to support such a movement.

Fifteen of these organisations were able to attend a two-day workshop in Johannesburg on the 2&3 August 2017. Collectively the organisations who participated in the workshop reach 1 143 590 youth directly and 29 799 100 youth indirectly – demonstrating the power of even a handful of organisations in creating meaningful change in the youth leadership sector on the African continent.

The specific needs of both youth leaders and NGO’s supporting youth leaders highlighted in the workshop were very similar: access to funding; access to training / educational opportunities; access to networking opportunities; and access to staff capacity building / personal development opportunities.


In 2018, thirty networks convened to craft the vision mission and values for a Pan African youth-led movement:

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The AYNM hosts bi-annual Summits to bring youth networks from the continent together. The AYNM Summits serve as platforms for:

  • Connecting youth network leaders from all five African regions
  • Developing a common agenda and vision based on the regional sub-agendas developed prior to the Summit

The movement was officially launched in July 2018 during the inaugural African Youth Networks Summit (AYNS) which took place in Pretoria, South Africa at Freedom park

  • The Summit was also celebrating the legacy and leadership of the Late President Nelson Mandela on his 100th birthday
  • More than 200 representatives from African youth networks attended the Summit
  • Over 35 African nations were represented at the Summit 
past speakers
Wole Soyinka
Playwright, Poet
Victor Ochen
UN Goodwill Ambassador
Jay Naidoo
Politician and Businessman
Kumi Naidoo
Human Rights Activist
Teresa Mbagaya
UN Education Embassador
Farai Mubaiwa
Africa. Youth Empowerment
Aya Chebbi
Pan-African activist
Lindiwe Mazibuko
Former Parliamentary Leader
Dr. Rueul Khoza
Veteran Businessman


AYNM youth networks will build regional to feed into a continental agenda in the following thematic tracks: Education, Entrepreneurship, Peace and Security and Political Participation.

The regional agendas are executed through our regional convenings which serve as spaces to root the movement and mobilize involvement from more youth networks and movements. In addition, networks:

  • share knowledge, collaborate and co-create common goals for actioning within the four thematic tracks (education, entrepreneurship, political participation and peace+security);
  • drive a specific regional agenda for sustainable socio-economic transformation
  • understand the activities of other network organisations so that they agree on common goals and actions within the four thematic tracks;
  • to build skills that can be incorporated into the work of youth networks

From April to July 2020, we hosted consultative sessions with youth networks from Southern, East, West, Central and North Africa to understand the impact of COVID-19 on African youth. The platform also enabled youth network leads to share solutions, best practices and lessons learned in addressing the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic. These virtual conversations convened over 150 youth leaders from across the continent. If you wish to request for the regional reports and possibly collaborate with some of the impactful youth responses to the pandemic, please contact us here

Regional meetings: Southern African Meeting in August 2019
  • From 28th-29th August 2019, AYNM in collaboration with Absa Group Ltd, coordinated its first regional meeting under the “Amplifying Youth Voices for Africa’s Transformation”
  • The meeting was attended by over 70 youth network leads, from 50 youth networks across 15 SADC countries
  • The outcome-based meeting enabled participants to co-create 5 ACTIONS PER TRACK
  • The 5 ACTIONS/TRACK will then inform a regional agenda for the Southern African region
    See report here
  • News clip

Due to the pandemic, we had to postpone other regional convenings. We will update this page on any new events shortly.

Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee is made up of incredible leaders from impactful youth interventions across the continent. They guide the strategy of the AYNM and play crucial roles in the implementation of our activities.

See Their Profiles Below

Tafadzwa Bete

Tafadzwa Bete Sasa is a high performance coach, training facilitator and speaker. Her work is dedicated to designing and facilitating knowledge, tools, processes and systems that equip individuals and teams for sustained success.

Rotimi Olawale

Rotimi Olawale, co-founder and Executive Director of youthhubafrica.org is a youth development expert. For more than seven years he has been involved in leading youth advocacy efforts mainly around the Millennium Development Goals.

Adela Ndlovu

Adela Ndlovu is passionate about Community Development and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Development Studies from the University of South Africa.

Tumiso Chepape

Tumiso is the Grants Officer at the Southern Africa Trust (the Trust). He is responsible for the life cycle of grant applications, the co-management of the grants management system, and supporting the capability assessments of civil society organisations.

Boitumelo Motsoatsoe

Boitumelo “Tumy” Motsoatsoe is a versatile and passionate creative who plays different roles as an actor, researcher, presenter, facilitator and theatre maker. She holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Policy and Arts Management and an Honours degree in Dramatic Arts, both from the University of Witwatersrand.

Racha Haffar

Racha is a feminist international award-winning women rights and anti-human trafficking advocate. She was named among top 5 inspiring female entrepreneurs in the Arab World. She is also a Fulbright Alumna at the University of Kentucky, a journalist and a university professor of public speaking and professional communication.

Eddy Gicheru Oketch

Eddy is the CEO of Anywair Group, a boutique construction equipment rental company based in Nairobi. Before Anywair, Eddy founded and served as president of Ongoza, (www.ongoza.org), an early stage youth businesses accelerator in Kenya.

Lulu Shabell

Lulu Shabell is passionate about growth through partnerships. Her courageous decisions as the co-founder and president of mentorship networks is working to empower young people with the social skills and business tools they need to play a more pivotal role in reshaping the African continent in changing times.

Garrett Webster

Garrett is an unconventional consultant who serves as a seasoned consumer lifestyle and engagement specialist with a focus on experiential design, marketing, and tourism. His path has typically been a non-traditional one, adding value in multiple countries and capacities as a DJ, marketer, ambassador, advisor, connector, and facilitator.

Mpilo Shabangu

Mpilo Shabangu is a passionate pan-Africanist with a unique focus on the intersections of African challenges. Ms. Shabangu has an extensive background in climate change and environmental governance due to her work with the South African Institute of International Affairs, as a longtime member of the Youth Policy Committee.

Christian Ndonga

Christian currently serves as the Minister of Youth, Employment and Sports. He is also co- Founder and CEO of a start-up named General Services and Constructions (GESCO. sarl), Acting Managing Director of Global Entrepreneurship Network CHAD, (www.genglobal.org). Country Coordinator of African Union of NGO of Development ...

Patrick Godi

Patrick Godi is a liberal and progressive South Sudanese Writer, Arts curator, Activist, and Co-founder of various community initiatives with deep interest in cross regional and intercontinental issues. He is keen on youth mentorship, broad participation in policy development and decision making at all stratum to cause positive change in Society.

Mohammed Boubekri

Mohammed Abdessalem is a 23-year-old visionary; young ambitious Algerian, majoring in civil engineering, Mohammed loves solving community problems combining his passion for digital arts and communications with engineering.

Zainab Umar

Zainab is currently the organisational lead for communications at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a think tank focused on African governance and leadership. She is responsible for the Chairman’s and the Foundation’s communications including all aspects of traditional, online and broadcast media relations, social media dissemination and stakeholder engagement.

Keolebogile Diswai

Lebo has a background in International Policy & Diplomacy, Peacebuilding, Development, Communications and Advocacy. She is currently building a career in International Development, Humanitarianism, Conflict, Peacebuilding, & policy. She has through her career, gained Peacebuilding expertise in Africa and the Middle East with a focus on women and youth empowerment.

Katlego Kgasoane

Katlego Kgasoane is a community leader, political activist and public management expert who currently serves as the programme assistant at the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS). Over the years, Katlego has accumulated experience in social impact, political activism and through MINDS, in fostering spaces for democratic systems learning for more than 500 youth across Africa.

Founder, Graça Machel

Graça Machel is an African stateswoman whose decades-long professional and public life is rooted in Mozambique’s struggle for self-rule and international advocacy for women and children’s rights. She is a former freedom fighter in Mozambique’s FRELIMO movement and that country’s first Minister of Education.

In the years following her tenure in government, Machel produced a ground-breaking UNICEF report “The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children” that changed the way the United Nations and member states respond in conflict zones. Since then, she has worked tirelessly in support of global health, child welfare, and women’s rights and empowerment.

Machel works through several regional and international development bodies to accelerate social transformation. Machel is a founding member and Deputy Chair of The Elders, and played a key role in establishing Girls Not Brides. She is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group.



Youth Networks


African countries

+3 Million

Estimated Youth Reach


Thematic tracks


The AYNM aspires to partner with organisations that share the vision of a Transformed Africa, “creating the Africa we want” and amplifying the voices and actions of youth in the process.

We present value to all partnering role players and stakeholders which focus on supporting youth-led interventions to create a prosperous Africa through their active participation in influencing the continental development agenda. Accessing an organized network of youth organizations across all regions of the continent presents multiple opportunities for partnerships and if you are keen to explore any areas of collaboration, contact us here


Past and Current partners