What is the National African Descent Youth Summit?

The National African Descent Youth Summit is a two-day event for 300 African Descent youth aged 15 to 30 from across Canada and their allies. The Summit themes are “Who We Are,” “How We Live,” and “Where We Are Going.” It will help African Descent youth explore their identity, culture, and heritage; discuss the systemic challenges and opportunities they face; inspire them to pursue their dreams and aspirations; and promote cross-cultural learning.


Who is organizing the Summit?

The African Canadian Civic Engagement Council (ACCEC) is a non-profit organization that aims to empower and advocate for African Descent communities in Canada. ACCEC has a track record and reputation of delivering high-quality and impactful programs and initiatives for African Descent youth and communities, such as the ANZA Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Program, ACB Stabilization Program, and the African Descent Policy Forum.


Why is the Summit important?

Canada is home to over 1.2 million people of African Descent, representing a diverse and vibrant segment of the Canadian population. However, African Descent youth in Canada face unique and complex challenges that affect their well-being, education, and career prospects. Some of these challenges include:

  • Systemic racism and discrimination in various institutions and sectors, such as education, healthcare, justice, and employment.
  • Lack of representation and recognition in media, politics, and leadership positions.
  • Loss of cultural identity and connection to their ancestral roots.
  • Limited access to resources, opportunities, and networks that support their personal and professional development.

The National African Descent Youth Summit will be a landmark event for African Descent youth in Canada to address these challenges. The Summit will:

  • provide a safe and supportive space for African Descent youth to share their experiences, learn from each other, and celebrate their cultures and heritage.
  • equip African Descent youth with skills and knowledge that will help them overcome the barriers they face and achieve their goals.
  • serve as an opportunity for cross-cultural learning for youth from other communities to learn about the identities, cultures, and heritages of youth of African Descent.
  • engage various stakeholders and influencers who can support and advocate for African Descent youth and communities.


Those Who Have Gone Before

The Summit is aligned with the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), which aims to promote the recognition, justice, and development of people of African Descent worldwide. The Summit is also inspired by the success of previous and existing initiatives that focus on African Descent youth empowerment and development, such as:

  • The Black Youth Leadership Conference, an annual event that connects Black youth with mentors and role models in various fields.
  • The African Youth and Governance Convergence, a biennial event that brings together young African leaders and policy-makers to discuss and propose solutions for the continent’s challenges.

The Summit will build on the best practices and lessons learned from these initiatives and create a unique and innovative platform for African Descent youth in Canada.