Call for young African designers-AU Summit 2020

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Application Deadline:January 24, 2020

Engaging young people will no longer be business as usual. We will engage and listen to young people in different spaces, sectors and spheres and tap into new constituencies to grow awareness and action for the African Union Silencing The Guns campaign and theme of this year.

Following the momentum from 2019 AU Summit, where the African Union placed African Fashion Value Chain on top of Policy Agenda. On February 9, 2019 – The Pan-African Fashion Initiative (PAFI) within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was officially launched on the sidelines of the African Union’s Heads of State Summit, under the aegis of the African Union, and with the collaboration of the AfroChampions Initiative (more about The Africa Fashion Reception event here). African Heads of State, First ladies, national experts, cotton producers, textile, cosmetics and accessories manufacturers, designers and creators responded to the call of the African Union, whose trade experts now want to define with all the actors involved a long-term roadmap to support of African fashion.

AU call on young African designers to collaborate on creating an exceptional outfit for this year’s African Union Summit in February drawing inspiration from the theme of the year, “Silencing The Guns”.


The purpose of the Challenge is to; 

  1. Engage the youth in the creatives, fashion and textile industries in understanding and contributing to the AU theme of the year “Silencing the Guns.” We want to ensure that they are informed and active players in discussions about their futures. In addition, we want to harness their creativity and skillsets by providing a platform to showcase through their art, the impact of this year’s theme on their lives and those of other African youth. 

2. Ensure inclusive participation and provide young designers across the continent, whether they are based in Kampala, Mogadishu, Accra, Marrakech, Joburg or Kinshasa, an opportunity to show off their creative genius at the AU Summit in Ethiopia 

3. Showcase the diversity of African youth and the sectors within which they engage while highlighting their power as economic drivers.

4. Link the role of the fashion, textiles, and creatives industries as accelerators for African development. 

5. Encourage the use of sustainable materials in design to promote positive climate action. Highlight the importance of artisanal/indigenous techniques in preserving the continent’s history while welcoming technological innovations within these industries. 

Clarification; 

  • Please note that this Challenge is not related to any speech to be delivered to the Heads of States and Government at the AU summit 
  • The chosen designer will be fairly remunerated for their creation by the Youth Envoy’s personal resources.This challenge has no official budget nor has an official sponsor. The chosen designer will also be featured and promoted on our platform(s) to continue to bring attention to African youth working in fashion, textiles, creative industries and to help achieve the objectives outlined above. 
  • All advocacy for youth issues at the AU summit will reflect the recommendations and ideas that have been shared with the OYE through different channels including online, national and regional consultations, country missions and diverse engagements, networks and platforms. We continue to welcome more input from stakeholders through this feedback form open since December 2018. More info on the youth engagement during the AU Summit will be updated on the website. 
  • We thank all the designers who submitted so far from 19 countries across the continent. We will continue to receive entries until the deadline: January 24, 2020

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the call for young African designers-AU Summit 2020

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