A large percentage of youths are the first generation of adults who grew up as active users of the Internet. Youths have been known to bring quality perspectives to various policy discussions, on both global and regional levels. They represent the voices of multiple stakeholder groups with diverse perspectives.
Youths are shaping the Internet in many ways, they are active participants in the digital economy as well as developers and designers in the technology field. Youths constitute a large percentage of Internet users who fuel growth and stand behind online social movements that bring important conversations to the limelight. Indeed, they are building the Internet of their dream, however, when it comes to policy discussions, most of them are not at the table.
The IGF community has demonstrated its interest and commitment to enhancing youth engagement in the IGF. With the emerging growth of the existing youth IGF initiatives in both national and Regional capacities, more youths are being represented in Internet Governance multi-stakeholder discussions around the world.
Keying into this positive and proactive approach adopted by the IGF in ensuring that Internet Governance is discussed among all stakeholders, in an open and inclusive process, following the bottom up agenda setting, the Youth Observatory and its partners are proposing the West African Youth IGF as a medium to push the agenda of the IGF by improving the participation of youths in the Internet Governance Ecosystem.
The West African Youth IGF is created with a goal of encouraging and involving young people in a substantive discussion on Internet governance across the West African region. This formation will follow the main IGF principles of being open, inclusive, non-commercial with multistakeholder participation during the whole preparatory phase and the event itself, all in line with a bottom-up