Alumnus Moctar Kane chosen as one of five new African Union Youth Ambassadors for Peace

20 February, 2020

Congratulations to our former student Moctar Kane, who has been selected from over 1,700 applicants to be one of five new African Union (AU) Youth Ambassadors for Peace.

Moctar, who completed the MPhil in Development Studies at ODID in 2016, is ambassador for West Africa.

The ambassadors were appointed by the African Union’s Peace and Security Department to work with the AU Youth Envoy to champion the promotion of peace and security across the continent. The new roles are part of efforts to implement the Union’s Youth for Peace Africa (Y4PAfrica) Programme, which was launched in Lagos in 2018.

The ambassadors will focus broadly on five areas: promoting youth participation in peace-making, supporting violence prevention initiatives, protecting young people during armed conflict, facilitating partnerships to promote peace, and supporting disengagement and rehabilitation.

‘Being appointed the African Union Youth Ambassador for Peace for West Africa is an immense privilege, responsibility, and more importantly, opportunity’, Moctar said.

‘In the position, I will build a Youth Alliance to capitalise on new and existing youth-led initiatives and solutions while promoting multidimensional and politically-led initiatives that enhance, rather than substitute for, local solutions; meaningful engagements with evolving narratives of religiosity, moral ethnicity, and political tribalism; and intra-and-inter generational bargains and political deals to promote genuine youth inclusion beyond elite youth protégés’.

After leaving Oxford, Moctar worked for the Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) in the Sahel region, a UK government cross-departmental fund that seeks to tackle instability and to prevent conflicts, becoming programme manager in 2018.

He then joined the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) as their Mali Advisor. GCERF works in partnership and consultation with governments, civil society, and the private sector in beneficiary countries to support local, community-level initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience against violent extremist agendas, and national strategies to address the local drivers of violent extremism.

‘We, African youths, are not always innocent bystanders when crises and conflicts strike’, Moctar said. ‘In those scenarios, it is notable that causes rest in distant pasts. This is why I believe these conditions, crises, and conflicts cannot be addressed sustainably with a transactional mindset. Our souls live both in the present and the future. Thus, systemic solutions designed inclusively with the future we want in mind offer better prospects for a prosperous and dignified life for all, and not just a few”

The four other ambassadors are Alhafiz Hassan Ahamat representing Central Africa, Emma Ng’ang’a representing East Africa, Mohammed Edabbar representing North Africa and Karabo Mokgonyana representing Southern Africa.

Moctar Kane headshot