Youth Policy Committee

The Youth Policy Committee (YPC) is a convening group that brings together youth organisations and young individuals to understand, comment and participate in policy processes that affect young people.

It was launched in mid-2014 by high school learners and university student alumni of our third annual Young Leaders Conference. Through this committee, we build networks with other young people and youth organisations in Africa and around the world.

The YPC is at a new point of growth and is reaching more interested student and learner clubs, youth organisations, young activists and researchers across South Africa, to offer age-appropriate capacity-building that develops policy participation and negotiations skills. 

There are several activities that the different working groups in the YPC are expected to undertake. This includes:

  • Policy input and participation
  • Site visits and fact-finding research
  • Stakeholder meetings/forums
  • Media and social media engagement
  • Awareness-raising and implementation of work

If you would like to join the YPC, kindly complete this registration form.

To find out more, contact

Youth@SAIIA working with young people across South Africa to address COVID-19 crisis

On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic. This global crisis is posing an existential threat to societies across the world as hundreds of thousands of lives are being lost to this deadly disease. As countries have tried to manage the pandemic, many existing social, economic, and environmental challenges have been exacerbated.

Our YPC is currently working remotely with young people across South Africa to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on the world and how it relates to the committee’s various working groups.

Over the coming weeks, we will share our statements and views of young people from our different thematic working groups.

Read their statements:

Youth@SAIIA working with South African youth to tackle climate change for a just transition to a green economy

Youth leaders of the 2020 #Team Europe Climate Diplomacy Week and Youth Dialogue – drawn from the youth programmes at the South African Institute of International Affairs (Youth@SAIIA) and WESSA Young Reporters for the Environment – presented their ideas at the virtual High-Level Closing of Climate Diplomacy Week on 23 September 2020.

Read their statement.

South African Youth Statement to COP26

The COP26 summit aims to bring parties together to accelerate action on climate change by addressing key issues related to climate finance, finalising the Paris Rulebook, prioritising adaptation and mitigation efforts, and raising ambition in line with achieving the global 1.5 degree goal. In the lead up to the summit, young people from across South Africa have come together to develop a South African Youth Statement to COP26. The statement draws from the South African Youth Climate Action Plan, and presents key recommendations that the South African delegation to COP26 should action in order for our country to transition to a low carbon, climate resilient society young people wish to live in.

The statement was presented at the virtual National Climate Change Stakeholder Dialogue to Minister Barbara Creecy of the Department of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs of the Republic of South Africa on 15 October 2021 held on zoom. For any queries, please do not hesitate to email

Read their statement.

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