Afresist does not necessarily imply civil resistance for regime change – that is already happening on the African Continent – but rather refers to the daily resistance of the millennials in Africa to survive with dignity and build the Africa We Want. Because our generation is a generation in transition at a historic moment in Africa, Afresist introduces a new concept to move from resistance to building and empowering the everyday citizen, everyday leader and everyday activist not to look for opportunities but to be THE opportunity. Through unlearning the mainstream narratives about African youth; the misrepresentation of Africa’s past, contemporary situation, and potential future; by internalizing the legacies of our ancestors in their constant struggle against colonization, oppression and injustice; we will find that we are already well-equipped to define a New Pan-Africanism. African youth are not just future leaders… they are leaders today and now!
Afresist is a project idea started by Pan-African feminist Aya Chebbi, following Tunisia’s revolution, as an open data platform documenting youth movements and youth work for social justice taking place on the African continent since 2011, from an African feminist perspective that empowers other movements locally, regionally and globally. Besides documentation, it later developed with other activists to look at African leadership. That is why the launch of Afresist coincides with the 8th Anniversary of 2010/2011 Tunisia’s Revolution on 14 January 2019.
Youth-led movements in Africa following Tunisia’s nonviolent revolution receive relatively little scholarly attention, media coverage and organizing support compared with other regions. The grievances that erupted in the popular movements in this and other African countries,Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Mauritania, Djibouti, Angola, Sudan, Algeria were very similar, aiming to bring down long-entrenched authoritarian rulers, or rising up against exploitative economic systems, corruption, inequality and, in particular, youth marginalization. The political and economic contexts of these countries are very similar, and so are their struggles and aspirations.
African youth are organizing in new ways of activism and utilizing new tools like social media and artistic expression to communicate and raise awareness about their causes.Importantly, they seek to change the status quo, and balance power relations in highly asymmetric conflicts and communities, to allow for effective negotiation, peacebuilding and conflict transformation.
Afresist, therefore, crowdsources this knowledge and documents citizen action on the continent–first and foremost by Africans on the ground–while empowering youth organizers and connecting them with social justice academics, journalists, organizers, researchers and activists everywhere.
Afresist is a network of networks working throughout Africa since 2019, to develop innovative leadership models, train the next generation of peacebuilders and promote public policies based on the principles of Pan-Africanism.
We are a Pan-African centered co-created thinking space that uses offline and online techniques to offer innovative approaches to Research, Advocacy and Training.
We seek to empower Africans through strong collaboration and unique exchange between young African researchers, bloggers, artists, activists and organizers to produce a collective memory of the struggles, learnings and best practices for the Africa We Want!