Moving Forward | A Yala Africa Photographic Initiative

“The future of Africa lies in its youth…” says Hategeka Moses of Yala Africa.  A continent with a median age of 19 years old as of 2011*, Hategaka’s words ring more than pertinent.

The online forum Yala Africa is a burgeoning space to think, talk and act. Call it a virtual baobab tree where young Africans come together to share, interact and discuss the issues that most press on their communities, and minds.




Since coming together on facebook this past January 2013, the group has grown to 73,000+ followers. Are Africans genuinely concerned about their fate? Yala Africans are not leaving that question to be answered elsewhere.  Determinedly they state that Yala Africa is “for us and by us, it relies on the input of each and every one of us.”

This past summer 2013, they put these words into action calling on amateur African photographers or those simply in possession of a camera equipped phone to share their personal vision of a continent moving forward. The images read as candid documents, visual annotations from daily life of personal moments that have moved Yala Africans who took the initiative to heart, and chose to put forward a snapshot of their realities.

In keeping with Yala Africa’s vision to let its community voice their opinions and be heard, the images that garnered the top ten spots took into account the direct responses and likes from their facebook community during the open submission period.



 “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King Jr.




“The future of Africa lies in its youth and therefore there need to be collaborative efforts from different national and international civil society actors and stake holders designed to turn the African youth into fearless, scientific, progressive and revolutionary thinkers, to make them attain relevant skills and knowledge that they will use to cause positive changes in their communities and make the continent attain sustainable development” – Hategeka Moses, Yala African core member

We are a group of young people who are aware of the power Africa has today. We see a great future ahead based on the seeds of change visible in today’s youth, and wish to build together towards an open society. We believe the young generation of today carries something different within and that, thanks to online social networks, have the ability to act together in a way that never existed before. Africa is forming a significant part of the constant changes we see around the globe, showing social changes along with economic growth. We draw our inspiration from the shifts in the balance of power in other regions, and from our involvement in the Middle East/North African young leaders movement called “Yala-Young Leaders”, cooperating with nearly 300,000 members. We wish to create a platform for dialogue and cooperation not only between the African youth throughout the Continent, but also with the wider world. This dialogue is intended to be operative in a way that will connect activists from different fields (art & culture, sports, education, online health solutions, peace building …) to their local communities as well as to each other, and also to potential colleagues around the world, in a fair way. We hope this platform will bring people together and will be a place to hear about new and innovative approaches as well as discussing and activating their implementation. Through all of this, we also expect to provide better tools of information for the world to learn about the African continent. But above all, this platform is FOR us, BY us – it relies on the input of each and every one of us.

Join them on facebook | Yala Africa

All contributions to the ‘Forward’ Yala 2013 photographic competition can be viewed on facebook.


* African median age statistic source, “World Health Statistics 2013,” p 166.


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