We want the youth to be part of the change happening in Africa and critically contribute to the development of South Africa. This was the message by the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela when he launched the Youth Development Institute of South Africa (YDISA) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Thursday, 10 March 2016.
YDISA, a collaborative partnership between UJ and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), will be a central point of reference for all youth research related matters in not only South Africa, but the rest of the African continent and the global South.
Mr Manamela explained that the Institute will also work with youth and workers to advance the youth development agenda. “Where youth research has been produced, its value has been frequently challenged by activists and youth workers bemoaning its relevancy and being out of touch with what is happening at the local level,“ said Mr Manamela. “The Institute’s research agenda and outputs; research repository and portal; entrepreneurial ventures; policy insights and strategic partnerships will contribute immensely to the youth sector.”
Deemed a trailblazer venturing into unchartered territory in South Africa by the Presidency, YDISA seeks to bridge the gap between youth research, youth activism and youth work practice.
Under the stewardship of the Managing Director, Mr Tsholofelo Koopedi YDISA will inform, shape and develop youth empowerment policies and programmes through research, advocacy and collaboration.
Also speaking at the launch event, Dr Linda Mtwisha, Senior Director: Strategic Initiative & Administration (UJ) and the Chairperson of the Board, said that young people, as the majority of world citizens, are becoming more powerful. “Our role is to make sure that we put in place institutional mechanisms that will develop those young people,” said Dr Mtwisha.
Upon appointment by President Jacob Zuma, the NYDA Board identified the need for a youth institute that would not only drive research, and develop evidence based youth policies and programmes, but also be a hub for young researchers who would be catalysts in strategically setting the research agenda for youth development rather than respond to it.
Mr Koopedi made a call for the youth to reach out and be involved with YDISA situated on 16 Ditton Avenue, Auckland Park.
For more information visit the website: http://ydisa.org/.
YDISA is registered as a non-profit company (NPC) with a Board of Directors, composed of two representatives from each of the founding members (UJ and NYDA) as well as three (3) independent Directors.