Platforms and Programs Connecting Young Africans with Mentorship

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A dynamic new generation of Africans is full of promise and eagerness to influence the continent’s destiny. But putting this desire into practical action calls for direction, encouragement, and priceless experience-based insight. In this situation, mentoring serves as an essential link between young aspiring leaders and more seasoned individuals who may provide priceless advice and enable them to successfully negotiate the challenges of leadership. This article delves into the vital role that programs and platforms play in enabling these important connections and supporting the development of young leaders in Africa.

The Landscape of Youth Leadership in Africa

As a nation, Africa offers a distinct demographic dividend due to its youthful population, which is full of talent and creative ideas. According to the African Development Bank, over 60% of the continent’s population is under the age of 25, presenting a significant opportunity for economic and social progress. However, this potential can only be fully realized by equipping young people with the necessary skills, knowledge, and networks to translate their ideas into action.

This is where mentoring becomes useful. Through mentoring, new leaders can connect with seasoned professionals who can provide direction, encouragement, and support. Mentors can be a sounding board for ideas, impart their knowledge and experience, and provide insightful criticism. Additionally, they might serve as advocates, providing young leaders access to resources and opportunities.


Platforms: Filling up the Gap

A number of platforms have developed to close the gap between aspiring young leaders and seasoned professionals in recognition of the value of mentorship. These platforms provide a range of services, such as:

Matching platforms: Based on common interests, abilities, and professional aspirations, these platforms pair up young people looking for mentorship with possible mentors.

Online communities: These online spaces give aspiring leaders a chance to network with peers and mentors, exchange stories, and get access to resources.

Mobile apps: Young people can connect with mentors, acquire educational resources, and take part in mentorship programs easily and conveniently with the use of mobile apps.

Examples of Successful Platforms:

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI): This network is a dynamic virtual community that links up-and-coming African leaders with mentors from a range of industries as well as with one another.

The Resolution Project: This program pairs young people in conflict-affected areas with mentors with relevant experience who may advise and assist them in their efforts to promote peace.

Africa Mentors: This website provides access to a variety of viewpoints and areas of expertise by matching young Africans with mentors throughout the world.

Programs: Providing Tools for Empowerment

In addition to platforms, a number of initiatives have been put in place to give aspiring leaders the information and abilities they need to succeed in their leadership careers. A common element of these programs is mentoring, which provides young people with supervised chances to engage with and gain knowledge from adults with a variety of experiences.

Illustrations of Successful Programs:

Youth Leadership Programme (YLP)

Launched in 2015, the United Nations Youth Leadership Programme aims to build leadership capacity in the region. It mobilizes resources to empower young leaders who contribute to sustainable development goals (SDGs)2.


East Africa’s flagship Youth Leadership Development Program, YouLead, unlocks youth leadership potential. It identifies, recognizes, connects, and fosters cooperation among Africa’s vibrant and influential young leaders and their initiatives.

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program offers academically gifted African students who are dedicated to giving back to their communities full assistance, including mentorship.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program offers seed money, mentorship, and training opportunities to young African entrepreneurs, empowering them along the way.

Although platforms and programs have a lot of potential to help young people develop their leadership skills, there are some issues that must be resolved such as fair access to platforms and programs for all, sustainable funding models, and quality control are crucial for the long-term survival and effectiveness of mentoring experiences.

To fully realize the potential of young leadership in Africa, a team effort is needed, including governments, academic institutions, businesses, and civil society organizations. This includes providing funds, exploring innovative collaborations, and encouraging experienced individuals to commit to mentoring youth.

Through the establishment of a comprehensive network of mentorship opportunities, platforms, and initiatives, Africa’s youth leaders to make significant contributions to the social and economic development of their continent. To quote Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Let’s make sure that this education incorporates the priceless counsel and insight provided by seasoned mentors, opening the door for a better future for Africa, headed by its youthful, capable, and empowered leaders.

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