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The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

African Union

Supporting Youth Political Participation

The Institute conducted a survey to elicit young people’s views and awareness about the AGA, and the AU more generally, identifying youth priorities and determining how best to conduct outreach to them. Though respondents were generally familiar with the AU, its institutions and general AU agendas (80% were familiar with Agenda 2063), they were less informed on the specific functions of AU institutions. The majority of respondents also demonstrated a clear desire to be partners with the AU and to become more involved in activities to promote good governance and democracy on the continent.

To integrate young women and men’s views into the AU’s work, NDI and the DPA co-organized regional youth consultations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Pretoria, South Africa in 2014 for young African leaders representing 35 organizations, spanning 15 countries. Building on the regional meetings, a continental youth consultation was held in Nairobi, Kenya, with more than 150 youth leaders from more than 40 countries participating. These consultations provided young people with a platform to exchange ideas, share their initiatives, and also gleaned strategies for how the AU could effectively involve young people in decisionmaking and political processes.

Based on the perspectives and ideas offered from participants at the youth consultations, a Youth Engagement Strategy (YES) was developed to provide a framework to achieve the goal of youth inclusion. The strategy outlines how the AU can enhance youth participation by working with young African leaders on the establishment of a youth-oriented agenda for promoting democracy, credible elections and good governance; raise awareness of the AU and its work on democracy and governance issues among youth; support regional leadership development initiatives that promote the voice of youth in major AU forums; and encourage research and knowledge sharing regarding the concerns and perspectives of African youth.

NDI and the African Union Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in June 2015 to continue and strengthen partnership between both parties. The MOU affirms the AU’s commitment to democracy, and its desire to partner with NDI to create a culture of inclusivity and good governance in Africa. It envisions strengthened cooperation on activities with AGA and expanded collaboration in the AU’s thematic clusters: democracy, human rights and transitional justice, governance, constitutionalism, and rule of law. The MOU also calls for a joint action plan, which includes mainstreaming youth issues into programming among the five clusters.

NDI and the AU are currently collaborating on several initiatives, including a continental consultation in Kigali, Rwanda, where youth representatives from political parties, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the media will meet to engage in dialogues on youth participation in democracy and governance processes. The event focuses on women’s empowerment and development; the AU’s thematic focus for 2015.  The Institute will also provide training for youth actively involved in political parties on political leadership, fundamentals of running for public office, public speaking and presentation skills, among other topics.

Contact Information

For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:

Washington, D.C.
Rakeb Abate, Senior Program Manager, [email protected]

Second Youth Pre-Forum in Kenya

Youth participants at the Second Youth Pre-Forum to the Annual High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa in Nairobi, Kenya in September 2014.

NDI has supported the African Union’s (AU) efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and encourage youth political participation since 2013.

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Election Date: 
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Coalitions Guide 2015
The National Democratic Institute and The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights
Resource Type: 
Guide, Flyer
English, French, Spanish

In partnership with the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, NDI has developed a guide to best practices in coalition-building. The publication outlines tips and practical advice for political party officials as they negotiate and work in different types of coalitions.

Election Date: 
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Activists walk in the 2014 Pride Parade in Belgrade, Serbia. 

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide, are pleased to announce a partnership to support LGBT civil society partners around the world.   

Working together, HRC Foundation and NDI will seek to help LGBT people grow their organizations, advocate for their rights, change hearts and minds, and inspire social change that acknowledges the equal dignity and rights of LGBT people around the world.

Students Dance as Le Magnific Performs at a Peace Concert in Cote d'Ivoire

Students dancing as Le Magnific performs the “C'est dans enjaillement que je vote” (It's with excitement that I vote) song.

When former president of Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing a close election to Alassane Ouattara in 2010, it triggered a conflict that left over 3,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. This year, as Côte d'Ivoire prepares for presidential elections on October 25, NDI has been working with community-based organizations, such as groups of youth, women and interfaith associations, to conduct peace messaging campaigns in at-risk communities.

National Democratic Institute
National Democratic Institute
Published Date: 
Resource Type: 
President of the strategic committee of Pod Lupom

Vehid Sehic, president of the strategic committee of "Pod Lupom," opens a conference on electoral reform, calling on politicians to urgently begin the work of amending Bosnia and Herzegovina's electoral law.

A coalition of civil society organizations called Pod Lupom (Under the Magnifying Glass) is leading efforts to amend the electoral law in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and address shortcomings that led to fraud and manipulation in past elections. On October 12, 2015, one year after BiH’s general elections, the coalition brought together more than 100 elected officials, political leaders, election administrators and civil society representatives to determine whether the political will exists to tackle the issue of manipulation in future elections.