Johannesburg, South Africa: A French-backed forum to promote democracy among young people in Africa was launched on Friday, a year after the idea was unveiled at a Franco-African summit.
The Foundation for Innovation for Democracy (FIDEMO) seeks to “connect African youth from all walks of life at a time of common challenges for democracy in Africa and Europe”, says its new director, Senegalese academic Souleymane Bachir Diagne, in a press release.
“Its programs and tools will be dedicated to a wide audience, from researchers to artists, from social entrepreneurs to managers of associations active in the field of democracy.”
The NGO has received initial funding of 50 million euros over five years, according to the statement released at the launch in Johannesburg.
It will be based at the city’s University of the Witwatersrand and will have three regional branches in Africa and an office in Marseille.
The Cameroonian intellectual Achille Mbembe, at the origin of the initiative, will be a member of its board of directors.
In a report ahead of the October 2021 France-Africa summit in Montpellier, southern France, Mbembe said France was “too disconnected” from new political and cultural movements of African youth.