Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA) aka Youth Action Initiative Africa is a youth-based non-governmental organization that promotes democratic governance, human rights and youth political participation. YIAGA focuses on in-depth research, capacity development and public policy advocacy. Since its inception, the organization has carved a niche for itself as one of Nigeria’s frontline youth civil society organization promoting participatory democracy, human rights and active civic participation. With its operational base in Abuja, Nigeria, YIAGA started off in 2007 as a student association in University of Jos, Plateau State. Registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC/IT/No.38620, YIAGA seeks to launch itself as an innovative “youth think and do” tank poised with the onerous mandate of enhancing the quality of democratic governance, human rights enforcement and youth political participation in Nigeria and Africa.
To this end, YIAGA focuses on in-depth research, providing critical analysis of key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and situating youth leaders in strategic point of engagements within their community. Using this approach, we implement several innovative programs aimed at stimulating active citizenship, protecting human rights and deepening democratic governance.
With a highly motivated, youthful and innovative staff, YIAGA has implemented numerous youth democracy projects with the support of her local and international partners. Notable amongst our key partners are; National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Washington DC, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Democratic Governance for Development Project of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP/DGD), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy Abuja, International Republican Institute (IRI) etc.
A key component of our work is Youth organizing and coalition building. This is informed by our firm belief that collaborative and collective action not only enhances citizens’ capacity to influence policy at all levels but it promotes national integration and builds citizens cohesion needed for democratic change. YIAGA facilitated the creation of the Youth Alliance on Constitution & Electoral Reform (YACORE), a national coalition of youth civil society organizations engaged in constitution review and electoral reform advocacy. YIAGA is the coordinating secretariat and a founding member of Partners for Electoral Reform (a civil society coalition comprising Trade Union Congress, Centre for Policy Advocacy & Leadership Development, Forward in Action for Education, Poverty and Malnutrition). YIAGA also houses the secretariat of Say No Campaign Nigeria, a citizen’s mobilization platform committed to the fight against corruption and impunity in Nigeria.
Through the Human Rights Volunteer Initiative (HURVI) project, a joint collaboration of CAFA Foundation, Centre for Public Policy and Research and YIAGA, we work to reduce the level and impact of human rights abuses by empowering youths with necessary knowledge and skills to become human rights advocates and build a community of volunteer professionals who will intervene in cases of human rights violations.