New Projects

1. “Youth, intersectionality and development in Southern Africa” (Nov 2022- October 2023- Ongoing)

Funded by the Karibu Foundation, the project aims to involve African youths in contributing to the knowledge of the layered vulnerabilities in their communities, with the goal of informing development intervention. We believe that external development intervention has largely been prescriptive and ignorant of the layers of vulnerability and inequalities in communities. We want African youths to develop localised frameworks for understanding intersectionality so that they can inform development efforts in their communities. The project is running in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, and Tanzania.

2. Mobilising Youth Organisations and Governments in Southern Africa to Contribute to International Law on Autonomous Weapon Systems (Ongoing)

As part of the Stop Killer Robots Campaign, we are working towards getting governments in Southern Africa to contribute to the ongoing efforts to create international law that will regulate autonomous weapon systems. We urge our governments in Africa, particularly in Southern Africa, to contribute more in pushing for a binding instrument to regulate autonomous weapons. This is extremely important considering that vulnerable populations and small states are likely to be the victims of those weapons, with issues like algorithmic bias and the likelihood of conflicts happening in smaller states that have less security making it imperative for small states to be concerned. We call on governments to contribute to the ongoing debates. Through the current project, we also call upon youth organisations to work with us in advocacy to pressurise our governments into acting.

3.Stop Killer Robots Round X Grant (April- September 2022- successfully completed)

Virtual Planet Africa secured funding from Stop Killer Robots to build political engagement and leadership for the youths in our network in order to increase public discourse on the development of binding international law to regulate and ban lethal autonomous weapon systems. The project aims to involve youth and governments in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania so that they can play an active role in the development of the aforementioned international humanitarian law. We aim to amplify the voices of young people on regulating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Autonomous Weapon Systems (AWS) that have adverse impacts on human dignity and life, especially among vulnerable populations.

4.”Youth, Political Participation & Covid-19: Building Back Better after Restrictions- Zambia, Zimbabwe & Tanzania” (February-August 2022 Successfully completed)

With a generous grant from the Global Youth Mobilization, Virtual Planet Africa is implementing this project in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania. We acknowledge the restrictions that came with the Covid-19 pandemic and how that has led to a serious shrinking of the political space for youths and other members of the public. Youths had already been disproportionately affected by draconian policies imposed by governments in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania in order to stifle their voices and discourage democratic participation.

The project looks at ways in which youths can be effectively involved and how they can maximise online and offline participation in the respective target countries. We work towards having the voices of youths in the three countries heard beyond their immediate communities and beyond their borders. The project, which ends in July 2022, will culminate in the production of a toolkit for youth participation in politics, shared stories and frameworks for best practices. As part of the project, we carry out periodic dialogue sessions with youths and incorporate their ideas into our programming:

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