Equipping youth to live sustainably in the future 



The African German Youth Initiative (AGYI) is a multi-lateral initiative of the German Government and the African Union Commission (AUC) aimed at enhancing youth exchange and mobility between African countries and Germany in the context of Education for Sustainable Development and global citizenry. The initiative, implemented by WESSA in South Africa, aims to establish a responsible framework for strengthened African German youth exchange partnerships. As a continental pilot initiative, WESSA works closely with implementing organisations in Benin and Tanzania.


Within the framework of the AGYI, WESSA is active at the local, continental and global level. We strengthen the youth voice, promote social activism and enable change agents through exchange. Aya Chebbi, AU Youth Services Envoy, recently summed this up at the AGYI European African Youth Exchange Symposium “Making the case for active citizenship and solidarity” in Bonn (May 2019) with five key points in her welcoming remarks.


  1. Exchange shapes narratives which are positive, questioning and with a sense of belonging
  2. Exchange enables strengthened perceptions and encourages relevant dialogue
  3. Exchange should contribute to the future of work
  4. Exchange promotes trans-national solidarity and Pan-Africanism
  5. Exchange can catalyse positive social activism and meaningful change


Within the framework of the AGYI and in line with the AU Agenda 2063, WESSA is building an Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by people, especially its youth (Aspiration 6).


Guideline for Responsible Exchange & Volunteering

Delivering quality exchange and volunteering experiences for youth, whether as a host organisation or a sending organisation, brings with it numerous considerations and responsibilities. WESSA, in collaboration with South African stakeholders, have developed a resource to guide and support the South African exchange and volunteering sector. The guideline has been shared across partner countries and edited for context. It has also been used to shape alumni content for the African Union commissioned “Continental Toolkit for volunteering”



Countdown 2030 & beyond “glocalising the SDGs & Agenda 2063” – a multi-lateral youth driven project with teams in South Africa, Benin and Germany implemented the Countdown Conference to more than 100 youth from around the world in Germany in December 2019. These youth continue to collaborate across borders, cultures and language barriers to bring youth from the continent and Europe together for around the topic of their common future and the world beyond 2030. Click to appreciate the journey.


Innovation Fund – within the framework of the AGYI, an innovation fund has been created for alumni and organisations in exchange to access. 13 Innovation Fund project are being implemented across South Africa by alumni and organisations within the AGYI network.


Youth Summit and Alumni App – The Continental Youth Summit, a collaboration between WESSA and the Southern African Alumni Network, brought African youth together to deliberate and develop strategies to give youth a stronger voice as influencers and contributors to development of the continent.


WESSA continues to work with the Southern African Alumni Network to develop a new app for the exchange and volunteering sector that will enhance cohesion, contribute to improved exchange and volunteering and link South African processes to the continental digital linkage platform of the African Union.


Skills in Exchange and Learning Journeys Framework – as part of the mission to provide more meaningful, enabling and relevant exchanges and volunteer experiences, WESSA, together with key stakeholders, is developing this important framework. WESSA is also working with African Diaspora in Germany to develop and include a mentor program for youth on exchange or volunteer experiences that will support skills acquisition as guided by the framework.


Youth Led COVID 19 Response Team – in the light of the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic, WESSA has created a COVID Response Team to work with alumni and organisations in the AGYI network that are on the COVID frontline. WESSA participates in the UNICEF led continental working groups on COVID response for youth and volunteers and is drawing on the African Union, UNICEF and South African strategic guidelines for our interventions.

Contact Details


Mike Denison
AGYI Project Manager
Cell 082 269 6421