North-South exchanges on youth political engagement


In Senegal, the general observation is that political commitment has become the business of young people. The idea that young people are close to politics is widespread. Most political parties have youth movements. Young people are often on the front line of social movements to demand change, as in the Y’en a Marre movement and the M23 movement.

In contrast, the speeches in Belgium seem to say that young people are no longer interested in politics. However, on closer inspection, we can see that this belief is far from the truth. Their commitment involves concrete actions such as actions on their campus or mobilizations such as citizen marches for the climate.

In 2014, the Solvay circle of the ULB took part in a project of the Africa Development Association (ADEV) and it is thanks to this first experience that the collaboration with ULB-Cooperation was then born.

Since 2020, a project funded by the Walloon region has thus enabled ULB-Cooperation and ADEV to supervise around thirty students from the North and South who contribute to the work areas of the association.

Geographical Areas

Belgium and Senegal


The objective of this project is two-fold. On the one hand, to allow young people to discuss their practice around the commitment to become aware of their active role in this area. On the other, to deconstruct mutual beliefs about the reality of the two countries.

In other words, it is on the one hand to support young Senegalese in their awareness of the extent of their rights and duties, to better understand North-South issues by means of a decolonial reading of history and on the other hand, to allow the young Belgians who take part in it to have a vision of Senegal, of “Africa,” other than that conveyed by the media.


Students from ULB and those from UGB (Gaston Berger University, St-Louis, Senegal).


Participatory workshops will be organized in both countries so that students can acquire skills in interculturality and position themselves as committed people.

These include, among others:

  1. Attend conferences on decolonization, public and youth policies, climate change, or illegal emigration
  2. Organize with their Senegalese student colleagues “tea-debates” in their neighborhoods and communities
  3. Meet municipal political actors and discuss their youth program with them, as part of the 2022 local elections
  4. And to organize a trip to Belgium with some of the Senegalese students



Expected Impacts

Beyond these various workshops, the aim will be to become aware of the interdependencies between the two countries and to invite students to put in place concrete actions that promote post-COVID economic recovery in rural areas, especially through women.

Operational Partner

ADEV (Africa Development)

Financial partner

Wallonia Brussels International (WBI)



€16,448, including €14,803 from WBI.