This panel examines how youth-led movements are bringing about transformational change across Africa. Issues covered in this panel include: youth-led appropriation of the public sphere via communication technologies, youth mobilization and civic participation, leadership and organization.
From Y'en a marre in Senegal, the Le Balai Citoyen in Burkina Faso, to LUCHA in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, youth-led movements in Africa are challenging existing political orders and demanding changing in their countries. These youth-led movements are gaining international attention and potentially represent a new mode of political participation in Africa. While there has been research looking at the destabilizing effects of youth in Africa, there is little research on the extent to which youth presence in the public arena may bring about positive developmental change. Taking case studies from across African, this panel will examine how youth-led movements are challenging the socio-political order and the power of political elites to bring about transformations in the African political order. While appreciating that the concept of '"youth in Africa" does not suggest that "youth" means the same thing across the continent, the panel seeks to look at the common operating patterns of African youth-led movements. Issues covered in this panel include, but are not limited to, youth-led appropriation of the public sphere via communication technologies, their modes of mobilizing mass civic participation, their styles of leadership and organization, and the alternatives that such movements provide to armed action. Papers are welcome from any discipline examining the role of youth in the public sphere in Africa.