Photo: CC BY-NC 2.0

The population in sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest growing and the youngest in the world, yet the politicians ruling them are typically among the oldest. In some East African countries, the current rulers are yesterday’s rebels. Some have developed a range of authoritarian practices to stay in power, which includes strategies for targeting youth.

How exactly do these regimes repress, attract, and co-opt their youth, and avail opportunities for their political representation? To what extent do regimes reproduce old patterns of subordination, or empower youth? What do young people do to negotiate and possibly subvert these strategies?

Our project ‘Youth employment and political representation in Africa’ (led by the Chr. Michelsen Institute) has conducted case studies to explore this in the East African countries of Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. We have looked at two policy areas, youth employment and youth representation to better understand how young people and regimes interact.

By attending this exciting event, you will hear from leading researchers from these East African countries, Norway, and the UK. You will learn how youth and regimes interact with one another, the tactics they use to engage and supress, and useful insights and new findings that can inform policy and programming.

Remember to register for the event.


  • Asnake Kefale, Associate Professor of Political Science – Addis Ababa University and Research Fellow – Forum for Social Studies
  • Aslak Orre, Senior Researcher – Chr. Michelsen Institute
  • Lovise Aalen, Research Professor – Chr. Michelsen Institute
  • Gerald Karyeija, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Management – Uganda Management Institute
  • Marjoke Oosterom, Research Fellow – Institute of Development Studies
  • Pauline Lemaire, Doctoral Researcher – Chr. Michelsen Institute and PhD Candidate – University of Bergen
  • Salvador Forquilha, Senior Researcher – Institute for Social and Economic Studies
  • Simbarashe Gukurume, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology – Sol Plaatje University


  • Liv Hernæs Kvanvig, Policy Director, Department for Human Development, Section for Human Rights – Norad
  • Rose Jaji, Senior Researcher – German Institute of Development and Sustainability



This event is an output from the 'Youth employment and political representation in Africa' project, in which we partner with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway's NorGlobal programme.