Expatica news

French-backed ‘Foundation for Democracy’ launched in Africa

A French-backed forum to promote democracy among young people in Africa began life on Friday, a year after the idea was unveiled at a French-African summit.

The Innovation Foundation for Democracy (FIDEMO) seeks to “connect the African youth from all backgrounds at a time of common challenges for democracy in both Africa and Europe,” its new head, Senagalese academic Souleymane Bachir Diagne, said in a statement.

“Its programmes and tools will be dedicated to a wide audience, from researchers to artists, from social entrepreneurs to non-profit managers who are active in the field of democracy.”

The NGO has been given initial funding of 50 million euros over five years, according to the statement issued at the launch in Johannesburg.

It will be based at the city’s University of the Witwatersrand and have three regional branches in Africa and an office in Marseilles.

Cameroonian intellectual Achille Mbembe, the brainchild of the initiative, will be a member of its board.

In a report ahead of the October 2021 French-Africa summit in Montpellier, southern France, Mbembe had said France was “too disconnected” from new political and cultural movements among African youth.