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South Africa-India Youth forum 2023 "South Africa-India Youth as Catalysts of Social Change"

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

Date: Saturday, 4 November 2023

Time: 10:30 AM South African Standard Time (SAST)

Time:14:00 PM Indian Time (IST)

Working language: English

Format: Online (Zoom)

Last Date of Applications: 25 October 2023

Applications Link:

The South African BRICS Youth Association (SABYA). Background

The South African BRICS Youth Association (SABYA) is a non-profit organization registered with the Department of Social Development in South Africa (205-671 NPO). SABYA is a youth-led organization that focuses on promoting youth development, international relations and cooperation, entrepreneurship, and innovation in South Africa and in other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). SABYA aims to create opportunities for young people to engage with each other, share best practices, and collaborate on projects that address key challenges facing their communities and respective countries. The organization also seeks to enhance cultural exchange and promote mutual understanding among youth from different BRICS nations.

The organization operates through various programs and initiatives, such as youth summits, forums, and workshops, as well as online platforms that facilitate communication and collaboration among members. SABYA also engages with policymakers and other stakeholders to advocate for policies and programs that support youth development, international relations and cooperation. SABYA plays an important role in empowering young people in South Africa and other BRICS countries to become active participants in shaping their future and contributing to sustainable development.

The International Youth Edu-Skills Foundation (IYES Foundation) is a not-for-profit, non-commercial and non-government youth organization registered under the charitable Indian Trusts Act, 1882, Government of India to empower youth through education, skills, employment and entrepreneurship to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. IYES Foundation was founded in 2018 by enthusiastic young professionals dedicated to bringing change to society.

Brasil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS)

BRICS refers to the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa group of emerging economies. This acronym was coined in 2001 (originally BRIC). The year 2010 saw the expansion of this grouping with the accession of South Africa. The overarching objectives which saw the formalisation of this grouping were trade, investment, global governance reform and enhancing people-people diplomacy. The BRICS grouping accounts for 45% of the global population, with an estimated nominal gross domestic product at 24% and represents 16% in world trade. The BRICS countries comprise the largest trading partners of Africa and the largest new investors.

“The BRICS configuration aims to promote peace, security, development, and mutually beneficial cooperation. It also aims at significantly contributing to the reform of global governance and the establishment of a more equitable world order.”

BRICS has since its establishment had a notable impact on the international system. The performance of BRICS countries economically is worthy of note. In 2010, China became the second biggest economy in the world, with Brazil as the sixth-largest economy, India has the largest economy in GDP and the fourth largest economy and purchasing power; South Africa is ranked as the 26th largest economy and Russia is the ninth biggest economy. Furthermore, BRICS countries have positioned themselves as the defenders of multilateralism at a time when countries have resorted to nationalistic approaches.

The BRICS countries have met annually to enhance cooperation between themselves and discuss issues of common concern such as global governance reforms, development challenges and security concerns.

Purpose of the 2023 SA-India Youth Forum

The forum aims to discuss issues of mutual interest to South Africa and India, deepen cooperation, and identify priorities that accelerate the steady growth of high-quality partnerships, with particular focus on youth development between the two nations. The Forum will reflect on possible approaches of strengthening linkages, institutional cooperation and people-to-people exchanges and further promote collaboration and Intercultural conversation between South Africa and India.


The South Africa – India Youth Forum 2023 will convene under the theme: “South Africa- India youth as catalysts of social change”.

Focus area of discussion:

The Forums’ agenda will focus on four focus thematic areas explained below. These focus areas deal with:

• Entrepreneurship and Business Development

• Climate Change

• Innovation and Skills Development: Call for Educational Exchange Programmes

The participants will be invited to share their experiences, best practices, insights, and perspectives on these focus areas, including highlighting major challenges and recommendations to jointly implement:

  • Advocating for Entrepreneurship and Business Development against the backdrop of limited access to job opportunities - Promoting entrepreneurial skills and business development for young people amidst the exponential unemployment rate and severe the competition for employment in the congested labour market. The discussion is envisaged to understand and contribute to labour market intelligence for constructive enactment of government and private sector policies.

  • Cultivating sustainable strategies to mitigate Climate Change - Encourage the building of a more sustainable global system in order to tackle the drastic changes in the world’s climate. The discussion is envisaged to contribute to the ongoing development of sustainable measures and approaches to promote environmental sustainability and further ensure the basic living conditions for people.

  • Utilizing Innovation and Skills Development to spur economic growth and enhance youth employability - Stimulate innovative approaches and development of skills set that equip young people to compete in the labour market. The discussion is envisaged to contribute to the development of a responsive and relevant higher education curriculum. Further establish Educational Exchange Programmes to share best practices and strengthen education collaboration between the two countries.


The Forum aims to:

  • Create a space for co-learning about South Africa and India relations.

  • Promote inter-cultural understanding

  • Establish a platform for the youth of South Africa and India to participate in meaningful engagements on BRICS issues on a bilateral level.

  • Provide access for all youth to engage on an international platform.

  • Encourage young people to be at forefront of climate activism

  • Create a sustainable programme that will consist of working commissions.

Expected outcomes of the Forum:

  • The Forum intends to produce a comprehensive report that will delineate the thematic areas discussed. The report will further reflect the various challenges encountered by the youth, proposal and put forth possible policy recommendations to mitigate such challenges. Furthermore, the report will reflect on country experiences and perspectives and areas for future collaborations.

  • The Forum intends to establish a youth-oriented network for both young people South Africa and India to engage and share best practices and opportunities.

Benefits to the Participants:

  • Increased knowledge and understanding in South African and India exchange relations.

  • Strong international networking opportunities.

  • An opportunity for the youth to meaningfully partake in global issues.

  • To encourage young people to participate in BRICS relations.

  • To recognise youth leaders in different sectors who are making a meaningful impact.

Target Audience:

  • Youth in indigenous communities.

  • Youth interested in SA-India exchange and relations.

  • Community and youth leaders.

  • Youth activists and student leaders

  • Climate change activists

Key Stakeholders:

  • Universities and think tanks.

  • Embassies and consulates

  • Other civil society organisations

  • Local youth community leaders

  • The stakeholder relations department will have to identify which stakeholders will be relevant to the youth forum.

Criteria for participants:

  • Between 18-35 years of age. (Exceptions will be granted to excellent candidates)

  • A citizen of the South Africa OR India.

  • A demonstrated youth leader in their field e.g. business, entrepreneurs, politics, international relations academia, civil society, agriculture, climate change etc.

  • Demonstrated extensive knowledge and/or experience in one or more of the thematic areas of the forum.

  • Willing and able to participate for the full duration of the forum, as well as in follow up events and activities.

-A total of 50 selected youth leaders will be selected, 25 from each country.

-Formal invitations will be sent to successful candidates.

-All participants will be recognized for their contributions on the Forum and be invited to follow-up reports and engagements after the Forum.

-The outcome of the bilateral event will be certificates for all participants.

For any queries please write to us at


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