The Convergence is the largest gathering of young political aspirants in Nigeria hosted by Yiaga Africa and the Not Too Young To Run Movement aimed at empowering and preparing them to run successfully in the next general elections.
This was built on the Not Too Young To Run Act spearheaded by Yiaga Africa in conjunction with members of the Movement which lowered the age of eligibility for elections and expanded the political space for young people in order to increase the proportion of young people in governance. This enables persons below the age of 30 to be able to not just run for office but also win.
The first edition of The Convergence took place in Abuja, the nation’s capital between 10-12 December 2018 and brought over 400 young political aspirants from across Nigeria. The Convergence 1.0 featured panel discussions and lecture sessions to provide the aspirants with critical knowledge and information to enable them run effective, issues-based campaigns ahead of the elections.
This was critical in enabling twenty-one persons between the ages of 25 and 30, who Yiaga Africa and the Not Too Young To Run Movement supported, first through the Not Too Young To Run Act and The Convergence 1.0 win elections into their respective state houses of assembly.
In addition, the election saw the emergence of over 200 young lawmakers out of the 991 seats across all the state houses of assembly in the country, a first in Nigeria’s democracy.
This gave birth to the second edition of The Convergence which took place between 7-9 May 2019 in Abuja with the theme, ‘Leadership, Power & Politics’. The Convergence 2.0 assembled the newly elected young representatives to celebrate their election and prepare them for the task ahead.
This was in recognition of the fact that Nigeria needs a new leadership paradigm that puts the people first, and a new leadership model that is driven by the philosophy of results and impact as well as transparency and accountability.
The Convergence 2.0 featured experts drawn from the academia, civil society, professional bodies, relevant tiers of government, political parties and the diplomatic corps who gave insightful and inspiring keynote speeches.
There were also legislative clinics carefully designed to train the newly elected legislators on legislative practice and procedure, the core meaning and functions of the legislature in the Nigerian society, institution reforms, gender equality and gender mainstreaming, community and grassroots engagement, social media and constituency engagement, effective lawmaking, legislative accountability and probity, and the oversight responsibility of the young lawmakers.
The young legislators also received legislative briefs with proposed legislation in key policy areas such as health, electoral reforms, inclusion and public accountability. These briefs were prepared by Yiaga Africa and Members of the Not Too Young To Run Strategy Team as legislative agenda for the young legislators in the National and state assemblies.
Yiaga Africa and the Not Too Young To Run Movement also continued to provide support to the young federal legislators through the Young Parliamentarians Forum as well as to four young speakers of State Houses of Assembly: Oyo, Sokoto, Plateau and Kwara. Our support builds up on the capacity building from The Convergence 2.0 and has contributed to excellent performance from the legislators.
The Convergence 3.0 was the largest gathering of young aspirants running for elective office in
South-West Nigeria towards the 2023 general elections. The Convergence created a space for
emerging political leaders who are committed to transformational public leadership to reflect,
engage, and build generational solidarity in their quest to run for elective office. The conference
was designed to equip young people with the knowledge, skills, and networks for running
effective political campaigns and winning elections. The Convergence 3.0 was held on the 9th
and 10th December 2021 in Lagos, Nigeria. In total, one hundred and sixty-five (165) young
aspirants and politicians participated at The Convergence 3.0.
The Convergence 4.0 is aimed at preparing young people in the Northern Region running for elective offices. The Convergence 4.0 will take place physically in Kano State on November 29-30, 2022 .
The Convergence series is hosted and organized by Yiaga Africa and the Not Too Young To Run movement and it is designed as the biggest assembly of youth candidates and young elected officials to inspire, empower and expose them to resources and tools required to excellent public leadership and quality representation. The Convergence 4.0: Leadership, Politics and Elections is expected to be the biggest gathering of youth candidates from Northern Nigeria. The Convergence creates a space for emerging political leaders who are committed to transformational public leadership to reflect, engage, and build generational solidarity in their quest to run for elective office. The conference will equip youth candidates with the knowledge, skills, and networks for running effective political campaigns and winning elections. 150 youth candidates from across Northern Nigeria in the 2023 general elections, including direct beneficiaries of the Not Too Young To Run legislation passed by the National Assembly are expected to attend this conference.
It will give you an opportunity to learn, network with other young political aspirants and be inspired on how to turn your passion for Nigeria into exemplary leadership.