Global consultation on youth and digital technologies in sub-Saharan Africa

14 - 15 July 2020
Public event

In the African continent, where almost 60% of people are under the age of 25, economies are expected to lose billions of dollars due to the Covid-19 crisis, severely impacting jobs and livelihoods. However, young people in sub-Saharan Africa have been at the forefront of innovation in their Covid-19 responses, in many cases using digital tech to transform their lives and communities. With the right support, youth can not only respond to the current crisis more effectively, but shape the future of the region for the better.  

To this end, Development Research and Training (Uganda), Participatory Development Associates (Ghana) and ODI are launching an online, global consultation to gather insights, current trends and practices to come up with recommendations for how organisations can better support youth to make the most of technologies in a post-Covid-19 world. This consultation focuses on tech use in the following areas: community engagement and youth activism, digital skills for the future, gig economy and the future of work, innovation, and access to finance. 

Using Platform4Dialogue, participants will provide input and feedback on questions related to the above themes, but also interact with each other and discuss issues that they find relevant.

We are encouraging participation from a wide range of actors, including young people, NGO practitioners, CSOs, activists, community leaders, government and policy officials, academics, philanthropic organisations, entrepreneurs and private sector.

This event is part of the Mastercard Foundation Youth Forward initiative and the ODI at 60 global reset dialogue series, challenging decision-makers to provide more sustainable and equitable pathways for the future.


Day one  14 July 2020 

Session 1 – Covid-19, youth and technology

We want to know how the young people you work with have been affected by the pandemic, how the outbreak is impacting youth livelihoods, and how the crisis might affect their use of technologies. 

Session 2 – The future of African youth activism and community engagement

We want to know how young people are navigating fake news and using technologies to amplify offline, locally-led community actions and what support is needed to sustain their work. 

Session 3 – Youth and digital skills for the future  

We want to know how education technology is currently being explored in sub-Saharan Africa to prepare youth for the future of work in a post-Covid-19 world. 

Day two – 15 July 2020 

Session 4 – Digital platforms and youth livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa   

We would like to know how gig platforms are influencing youth livelihoods and what social protection mechanisms are being developed by which actors to increase youth resilience during Covid-19. 

Session 5 – Covid-19, technology and business innovation 

We want to know how tech and business innovation is being affected by the coronavirus pandemic and how young entrepreneurs are adapting to the new situation and preparing for the post-Covid-19 recovery. 

Session 6 – Accessing money opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa: what has changed?  

We want to know if and how Covid-19 has enabled further financial inclusion for African youth and what valuable lessons are emerging for greater inclusion and financial literacy.