African Youth and Adolescent Network on Population and Development


Location: Operates regionally in East and Southern Africa; Secretariat based in South Africa

Mission: AfriYAN is a consultative, coordinating, and action-oriented network for youth and adolescent national organizations, and a vehicle for collaboration on:

  • HIV & AIDS
  • The promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
  • Population and youth development
  • Issues related to public health and/or sustainable development
  • Child marriage and gender-based violence (GBV)

Focus Areas: Health, Advocacy

Program Overview:

  • Within AfriYAN’s four objectives are strategic, interrelated interventions that use an evidence-based approach to advocate for influencing national policy. AfriYAN works in capacity building, peer education, sensitizing health providers and traditional and cultural leaders on youth-friendly services, sensitization of health service providers, comprehensive sexuality education, and partnering with youth organizations.
  • AfriYAN has four thematic areas of operation: youth friendly services and comprehensive sexuality education; HIV; demographic dividend; and ending child marriage and gender based violence.
  • AfriYAN has 40 members regionally (2 focal persons per country in East and Southern Africa) who work on a volunteer basis to coordinate work on regional activities, while having membership with their national AfriYAN chapter. Though resources are limited, AfriYAN encourages members to attend conferences and network, and advocates for its partner organizations to provide professional opportunities for young people.
  • AfriYAN Eastern and Southern African Region is organized into 21 country chapters. National chapters use the Regional Chapter’s workplan to guide their work in country, while having the flexibility to determine which thematic areas they want to target that year and how they will do so.
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Photo: AfriYAN


  • AfriYAN measures results semi-annually at the individual and organizational levels. Within each country, organizations in the network develop indicators to monitor their results, and they submit monthly reports to the regional level. The Regional Chapter also disseminates surveys to collect data on specific issues.
  • AfriYAN builds the capacity of its regional members to be advocates, leaders, and peer educators through annual trainings. These representatives then return to their own chapters and train other young people in turn.
  • AfriYAN country chapters have held events like a model United Nations (Tanzania); engaged young people in a review of national adolescent SRH policy (Kenya); helped communities develop action plans to promote intergenerational communication (South Africa); and established task forces of youth leaders to promote dialogues on SRHR and HIV in their communities (Namibia).

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