WAYN's five main areas of work are:

Empowering young people to serve as agents for social transformation and democratic empowerment

Providing an umbrella structure to facilitate coordination amongst youth organizations in West Africa

Advocating and Protecting Human Rights, with particular focus on the rights of women and youth

Promoting Peace-building and Conflict Resolution in the region

Fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS



Mano River Union Youth Peace Initiative | Youth Leadership Program | Youth-Parliamentary Forum on NEPAD | Youth Democracy Initiative | Regional Mechanism on Children and HIV/AIDS | Ecowas Youth Desk

The Mano River Union Youth Peace Initiative

In May 2001, WAYN launched a Youth Peace Initiative in the Mano River Union Basin. The Mano River Union Youth Peace Initiative marked the beginning of a new focus for WAYN, mainly to build peace utilizing the skills of young people, from a multi track perspective. As part of the Initiative young people staged a non-violent hunger strike action as a means of highlighting the intensification of the problems and drawing the attention of the leaders of the region for the need to dialogue and for finding a solution. Presently the MRU youth parliament is preparing for the second parliamentary session which will take place in Liberia in August 2005.


West Africa�s Future leadership Program

The aim of West African youth leadership program is to strengthen the local capacities of young people in leadership, peace building, governance, civil responsibilities and human rights. In collaboration with the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of the University of Sierra Leone a two week summer leadership Training Program will be organised at the University of Sierra Leone for youth leaders from around West Africa. The program will provide training in basic leadership skills, democratic principles, human rights, Peace Building, Governance, Civil Responsibilities, as well as the practical aspects of youth work in different contexts: advocacy, campaigning and management. By increasing access to training and skills development, young people will be encouraged to further develop their leadership skills, to participate in decision making processes and to make an active difference in their societies. The program is planned to develop into a West African youth leadership training institute that will organise a yearly summer academy in leadershiptraining. The first training will start in September 2005.


Youth-Parliamentary Forum on NEPAD

The West African Youth Parliamentary Forum on NEPAD is a democratic empowerment project seeking to mobilize young people and MPs in West Africa to actively participate in the implementation process of NEPAD and the promotion of democracy, civil education and human rights. The project represents a long term vision for youth participation in local and regional decision making as well as a framework for a strategic partnership between young people and MPs. By recognizing of the significant role that youth and MPs can play in issues of democracy and governance, including participation in consultations for NEPAD in West Africa, the visions and objectives set by NEPAD and the Millennium Development Goals can materialize. The forum is being organised in April 2005 in collaboration with the Canadian African parliamentary Centre.

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Youth Democracy Initiative

This programs seeks to make youth more visible in democratic and governance processes. The program will consist of trainings for youth to be election observers, send youth observers to the Liberian and Burundian presidential elections and organise governance and democracy clubs.


Regional Mechanism on Children and HIV/AIDS

We are presently in discussion with the Swedish Save the Children to implement this program.


Ecowas youth desk

Promote the participation of young people in the decision making process of local and regional bodies by creating a Youth Unit within the Secretariat of ECOWAS as well as an ECOWAS Youth Parliament.