GDL Incubator Lab (10th Lab): from 16 to 19 June 2019, Accra
The overall aim of the 2019 curriculum is to investigate the potential for realising the demographic dividend in Africa, and thereby to examine how new formats for international collaboration can help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more effectively. Our work in 2019 is contributing directly to SDG 17, whose focus is strengthening partnerships to support and achieve the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda.
As a key element of the curriculum, the Incubator Lab in Accra focused on generating a better understanding of the global frameworks that govern the discourse on population dynamics and the ways in which these structures attempt to support economic development. In particular, we explored how the perspectives and narratives of different stakeholders influence the possibility of Africa achieving a demographic dividend.
In Accra, participants learned about the challenge of collaboration from various local institutions – i.e. the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC) and Impact Hub Accra – and experts who shared their experiences. Splitting up into smaller groups, GDL members visited various Accra-based projects – the Centre for Democratic Development and Afrobarometer, National Population Council, SOPODIVA Training Centre and the Street Children Empowerment Foundation – where they gained further insights into certain aspects of the overall challenge.
Coming together with voices from Ghana, the participants were able to contrast the pan-African perspective with perspectives from other regions in the world. Through methods such as storytelling, they built on new narratives to gain access to the topic of the demographic dividend and find new ways of triggering collaborative solutions that can be translated into practical policy.
During the Impact Lab, in Berlin from 27 to 30 October, ideas and strategies which participants developed in Accra in order to establish sustainable methods to achieve the demographic dividend were further elaborated on . The whole 2019 curriculum is developed and implemented in partnership with the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany as its challenge holder.
Both the GDL and the Federal Foreign Office acknowledge that population dynamics are an essential global factor that is impacting cities, states and continents. We recognise that demographic growth brings benefits and challenges which are viewed differently by global, continental and local actors. Hence arriving at a common understanding and generating synergies that enable political and economic inclusion for the next generation are not self-evident.