The French-African Foundation is relaunching and expanding its Young Leaders programme, designed to identify and bring together engaged young African and French talents who have projects and wish to invest in building a common future.

This comes after the suspension of the 2020 recruitment campaign due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Staff numbers have tripled, new programme procedures and operational recommendations been developed: 2021 will be marked by a rise in the number of participants, and the call for applications closes on 21 March. 

The French-African Foundation’s vocation is to contribute to the emergence of a Franco-African “new generation”, to take up the economic, social and political challenges of the time.

Each year, it brings together a class of Young Leaders selected from among the most promising potentials and called upon to play an important role in relations between France and Africa. 

Faced with the challenges ahead, amplified by the Covid crisis, the Foundation’s flagship programme is changing scale with a threefold increase in staff numbers.

This year, at the end of the selection process, 100 African and French Young Leaders, aged between 28 and 40, will be selected in the respect of gender parity.

The call for applications, launched on February 17, will close on March 21, and the composition of the class of 2021 will be announced in May. 

 The laureates will be divided into two groups of 50, each taking part in a five-day high-level participative session, in France or Senegal, on the theme of resilience, using a mirror approach, allowing the French and Senegalese perspectives to be compared.

These rich discussions will lead to a report in spring 2022, including operational recommendations, intended for national and international, public and private decision-makers. 

For the year 2021, the Young Leaders programme will also include a “Sport & Development” focus in order to engage the Franco-African communities mobilised on this theme and highlight the economic and social stakes of the contribution of sport to development. 

“We are delighted to launch this new edition of the Young Leaders programme, which is intended to be more ambitious. It has not escaped anyone’s notice that we are living in a difficult context that drives everyone to reinvent themselves in order to find sustainable solutions and respond to the current challenges.

“This is the ambition of the Young Leaders 2021 programme: to provide a platform for one hundred promising decision-makers to shape the contours of tomorrow’s world,” says Alexandre Coster, co-president of the French-African Foundation.