The African Youth Panel is governed by a Steering Committee elected from all the regions in the continent to take decisions and guide the affairs of the panel.
The Steering Committee, elected in May 2014 have a 2-year mandate to lead the African Youth Panel.
The newly elected Steering Committee of the African Youth Panel are as follows:
Rotimi Olawale, Nigeria (Chairperson)
Rotimi Olawale is chairperson of the African Youth Panel and founder of youthhubafrica.org. For over 12 years he has been involved in leading youth advocacy efforts mainly around the Millennium Development Goals and policies/programs that affect youth. Rotimi is currently involved in shaping local, national and global policies to benefit youth and also leverage opportunities for young people. Rotimi currently chairs the African Youth Panel as well as theAfrica Youth for Results Network. Rotimi is consulted by many National and International Agencies including The World Bank, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Africa Development Bank (AfDB), The International Republican Institute (IRI), the European Union and the African Union Youth Division among others on various issues related to youth policies, youth programming and youth development.
Jawol Vera Magan, Ghana (Vice Chairperson)
I am Jawol Vera Magan, I have over Nine years (9) now gathered a wide range of experience and contribution to youth development work at local, national and international levels. I have experience with volunteering, experience as a board member of a youth organization and currently Technical Advisor for Advocacy, Gender and Youth for Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL) in the Northern part of Ghana. I am passionate about youth development issues in general but with keen interest in youth leadership through giving youth the opportunity and platform to input into issues that concerns them. I am more passionate about the increasing gap between the rural youth and the urban youth and their inability to be exposed to the even few opportunities available for them to explore. My deepest vision is to reach a stage where the rural youth who actually form the greater majority of the youth population in my country and beyond are able to take charge and control of their own development platforms and opportunities available for them to take advantage.
Currently I am a member of the Africa Youth Panel(AYP) a Regional Network of youth organizations in Africa, my contribution and inputs have recently earned me a position in the Steering Committee of the AYP as a Co-Chair
I worked as a volunteer for the Youth Forum Project as a Steering Committee member, a board member for Youth Employment Project from 2006 to 2010.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Master of Science (MSc) in Development Management (2012/2013), Bachelor of Science in Integrated Development Studies (2008),Diploma in Organizational Change Management- Denmark,2014.
• Organizational Change Management and Development
• Policy Engagement and Advocacy,
• Project Management Professional and Strategic Planning
Mr. Ibrahim Ceesay, Gambia (Programmes Manager)
Ibrahim Ceesay is a social justice activist, UNESCO Youth Ambassador and independent film‐maker from Gambia. He holds leadership positions with several youth led regional and international organizations and currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), the biggest youth climate movement in Africa (with 42 country chapters) and Chair of the African Youth Alliance on Post2015 (AYAP). He was former Chairperson of the African Youth Panel (AYP), advisory body to the Danish Africa Commission. He works full time as Executive Director of the Children and Community Initiative for Development (CAID). Prior to his current position, he worked with the Gambia National Commission for UNESCO as Administrator/Secretary General of the National Federation for UNESCO Clubs and Centres. He has facilitated and was involved in several youth led processes at the African Union, UN and other International Organizations, as a youth expert. He was nominated in 2012 by Youth Hub Africa an online platform for youth engagement in Africa, as one of the 12 most influential youth leaders in Africa.
He is a campaigner and strong advocate of the African Youth Charter. He is a steering committee member of the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) and President of The Copyrights and Collecting Society of The Gambia. He is founding director, Mandingmorry Foundation for Performing Arts (MANFOPA), Mandingmorry Academy of Music (MAM) and African Artists Peace Initiative (AAPI).
He was nominated as the ‘’Personality of Year 2013’’ in Gambia and won the ‘’Youth Leader of the Year Award 2013’’ for his outstanding work and contribution to youth empowerment and development. He is an award winning film-maker and won the Best Indigenous Film at the Nollywood and African Film Critics’ Awards (African Oscars) 2013 in Washington D.C for his film ‘’The Hand of Fate’’, a film on child marriage and girl education.
Thomas Ravn-Pedersen, Denmark(AYP Senior Adviser)
Mr. Thomas Ravn-Pedersen combines comprehensive top executive experience from international development and relief work with high quality public service broadcasting experience. Since 2010 he has been the Head of World’s Best News, the Danish MDG Campaign organised by Global Focus (Danish NGO’s), DANIDA, and UN.He has more than 20 years of professional experience in the field of journalism, broadcasting and communication.
For ten years he was part of the Top Management Group of the large Danish Development NGO, DanChurchAid, and responsible for information, communication, fundraising, mobilisation, branding, strategy, advocacy, and lobbying.
For ten years he has been a journalist, anchor, editor and head of documentary department at DR, Danish Broadcasting Corporation.
Besides his managerial and journalistic skills he has 30 years’ experience in leading voluntary organisations. Also he has served as a consultant, facilitator and moderator for Civil Society Organisations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and International Organisations and Networks for 20 years.
Amongst his task has been DANIDAs Civil Society Strategy, Humanitarian Strategy, and Development Strategy, Danida Development Days and facilitation of a long range of International High-level Conferences and workshops on Tax and CSR,Tax Havens and Illicit Financial Flows, Extracting Industries, Burning issues in Protection,Responsibility to Protect, Early Recovery, Food Security, Refugees and IDP’s, Gendered Governance, Rights, Empowerment and Green Growth, Policy Coherence for Development and Human Rights.
He was founder of and worked as volunteer for Ghanaian Danish Community Programme in Tamale, Northern Ghana from 1984-85. From 1985 to 2006 he was the chairman of the Danish partner NGO Ghana Venskabsgrupperne.
From 2007 to 2014 he wasa member of the Standing Committee for the Danish NGO FORUM whereby he became one of the founders of the African Youth Panel in 2008, which he since then voluntarily has served as its Senior Adviser.
Since 2008 Chairman of the Timbuktu Foundation, an independent foundation established with the purpose of supporting development education and journalism in Denmark.
From 2007 to 2009 member of EBU Radio Features Group, European Broadcasting Union, Geneva
From 1999 to 2006 Chairman, member and Nordic Representative in ACT Communications Advisory Group, Geneva, this established the communications platform for the merger of ACT International and ACT Development into the ACT Alliance.
From 2004 to 2007Member of Action by Churches Together (ACT) Emergency Committee, Geneva (World Council of Churches et.al.)
From 1999 to 2005Chairman for Global Communicators Network, Geneva – a network for communicators from 40 countries around the globe.Moderator for Global Meetings in May 2000 (England), January 2002 (Bangladesh), November 2003 (South Africa), and October 2005 (Cuba).
Jack Chongola, Zambia(Communications Officer)
Jack Chongola is a Youth Activist in Zambia, He has worked with various Youth led programs and campaigns from 2008 -2011 he was the Ambassador of a Youth program called Reach for Life which was the leading Youth awareness program in secondary schools. Jack is currently the founding Chairperson of the Alliance of Youth Entrepreneurs an organization established to promote Youth entrepreneurship and is supported by various organizations ILO, Zambia Development, Agency, Ministry of Youth and Sport, National Youth Development Council. During the Past 5 year Jack has been involved with Youth Enterprise promotion, he has also founded a company called Zed Connection Ltd where he serves as the Managing Director the company deals in Event management and Advertising and currently hosts the leading Marketing Platform event for Baby and Kids Product and services in the country.
His passion for Youth development has seen Jack get involved with the development of various National and International documents and Programs these included (National Youth Policy, National Youth Employment Plan, Rural Youth Employment and Food security program. Young Entrepreneurs Expo Zambia)
Jack is currently part of the African Youth panel Steering committee and serves as the South Africa Representative and the communications officer.
Mursi Taha, Sudan(North African Representative)
Mursi Taha is a young youth from Sudan, born in Romania, lived awhile in Sweden, Japan,Bahrain and Nigeria. He is a graduate from The University of Khartoum, Faculty of Arts, Bachelor Honors Degree in French Language. Mursi is currently the Sudan Head Chapter with Africa 2.0 and also served as a volunteer with The African Union Youth Volunteer Corps ( The AU Youth Division), The United Nations Youth Association of Sudan and with The Sudanese Organization for Non Violence and Development.
Mr. Taha is working as a PA/ Commercial Attaché with the Brazilian Embassy to Sudan,before that he worked for Kenana Sugar Company (one of the largest diversified sugar industries in the world) and with Khogali and Shoush International .
Mursi aims to bring African Youth voices heard worldwide and to work proactively with Sudanese youth.
Didier Jusvi Mabika Ngassaki
Young active in associative movements at national, regional and international level, Didier Jusvi MABIKA Ngassaki is Certified Professor of French at High Schools; his university studies at the Higher School of the University of Marien NGOUABI Brazzaville, was sanctioned by obtaining a Master of Education, Option: French.
Young activist in the Congolese Association for Family Welfare (ACBEF) organization row to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) since 2007, it occupies the Secretary-General of the Youth Action Movement antenna ‘Ouesso, Recording Secretary of the National Audit Committee, rapporteur of the National Committee of the Youth Action Movement and National Focal Point of the Movement since 2011.
Since 2012, it operates in African Youth Panel, pan-African organization which is a member of the Regional Executive Committee and Representative of the Central African sub-region.
It is also the representative of the Youth Action Movement of the Central African sub-region, member of the National Council of Youth of Congo and is part of the Youth mastery Congolese team on issues of education, health and leadership.
He is actively involved in several meetings, international conferences and seminars on issues of post 2015 plan of the 2063 agenda of the African Union, and governance in Africa.
“All you can do for humanity, do it because it could save lives”