African Monitor works with strategic grassroots partners to strengthen its constituency base among grassroots communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Currently, two priority constituencies are being targeted. The first constituency is the faith communities that are being accessed through collaboration with Interfaith Action for Peace in Africa (IFAPA) and AM's existing networks of grassroots organisations.
One of the objectives of African Monitor is to enable additional African voices from grassroots communities to participate in the development agenda in order to inform and development outcomes. African Monitor's partnership with IFAPA has established the African Youth Decade Alliance to advocate for the implementation of the AU's Youth Decade Action Plan. The Youth Decade Action Plan articulates a number of commitments made by African governments to improve economic opportunities for young people and enable their active participation in economic, political and social arenas. The steering committee for this Alliance is made of 9 African Youth networks and organisations from across the continent. The steering committee organisation members have chapters or national focal points in all 5 African Regions of the continent.
Given that young people make up more than 60% of the population across the continent, and given the fact that they form the majority of the unemployed, AM has identified young people as a critical stakeholder and grassroots constituency. Through this Alliance, AM and IFAPA will work with sub-regional youth bodies across the continent to monitor the implementation of the Youth Decade Action Plan; advocate for the allocation of resources to youth related services; and mobilise broad participation of youth in decision making processing.
African Monitor led a delegation of the African Youth Decade Alliance to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The main objectives of the mission was to introduce the Alliance to the African Union Commission Youth Division and other continental and international institutions based in Addis Ababa; and to seek recognition and establish partnerships with those institutions. Some of the outcomes of that mission include; the signing of the MoU with the African Union Commission Youth Division (process at final stages); opportunities for the Alliance to participate in various youth related initiatives and projects, including the Demographic Dividend meeting that will take place later in 2012, to contribute in the publication of the UNECA 2013 African Youth Report and the meeting of African Ministers responsible for the youth.
Other activities of the Youth Alliance have been engaged in the short period since it has been established include:
In collaboration with IFAPA, AM has been coordinating a network of faith-based organizations to contribute in the development process of their communities. The two partners have also facilitated information sharing between different faith network members and also keep abreast on development issues. The faith network members participate in a number of activities organised by AM and IFAPA, such as the Central African dialogue organised in March 2011 in Brazzaville. The purpose of the Citizen's dialogue was to formulate a truly African Agenda that more fully captures African voices and aspirations, and ultimately shapes the policy agenda for its people.