Youth Action International’s (YAI) mission is to increase digital literacy and computer proficiency for young people in postwar African countries. YAI was established in 2006 by Liberian activist and civil war survivor Kimmie Weeks. The organization’s early projects were focused on meeting urgent needs around education, health care and economic empowerment.
Since its establishment, YAI’s programs have benefited more than half a million people in Burundi, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Past successful programs have established computer training centers, vocational training centers and high schools. The organization has also run initiatives around early childhood education and access to clean water.
Both Kimmie Weeks and YAI have been recognized globally and have received numerous awards for YAI’s work against poverty. Notable amongst them includes the World’s Children’s Prize from the Queen of Sweden and Liberia’s highest civilian award from former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Our work has been profiled on major television networks including CNN, BBC TV, CCTV, Discovery Channel, and MTV Canada.
Youth Action International is a registered 501.C.3 organization in the United States and is an accredited non-governmental organization with the governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone.
" If young people in postwar states can utilize technology to unlock career pathways, build stable livelihoods and reinforce their democracies, they reduce their vulnerability to the cycle of poverty, inequality and conflict."
With three out of five people under the age of 25, and half of its population between 3 and 24 years old, Africa has the youngest population of any continent. In 2020, the population under the age of 25 was nearly 800 million, and 677 million were between 3 and 24 years old. Africa’s population is not only young but also growing fast. Compared to 2000, the 3- to 24-year-old population has increased by 58 per cent, and it is estimated to further increase by 22 per cent over the next decade.
Africa (+21 percent) and Oceania (+9 percent) are the only regions of the world where the population of young people (those under 25) is expected to grow over the next decade. According to the population projections of the United Nations, in 2030 Africa will be home to 28 per cent of the world’s population aged from 3 to 24, compared to 17 percent in 2000 and 25 percent in 2020.
Across the continent, Central Africa and Western Africa are recording the highest growth in their populations of young people. Between 2000 and 2020 the under-25 population increased by 82 per cent in Central Africa and by 68 percent in Western Africa, compared to 18 percent in Northern Africa. This population in Western and Central Africa is expected to increase by a quarter over the next decade.
The large population of young people in Africa, and its high growth rate, presents both a risk and an opportunity. The pressure that it places on education and training systems is enormous. African countries that already have some of the highest out of-school rates in the world, and some of the lowest learning outcomes, must also deal with growing demand for education.