African Youth Liberating the Future: Liberating learning narratives across Africa

Welcome to the Ubuntu Learning Circle!

The African continent has the fastest-growing youth population globally, with 70% under 30. The significance of this young generation is compounded by the daunting aspects of the present and future: climate change and its impacts, political and societal volatility, and increasing economic insecurity. In this context, what will happen in Africa will largely influence what happens with humankind in the next century. This presents African youth with the significant opportunity to catalyse a global transformation.

Ubuntu, in isiXhosa (one of the 11 official languages of South Africa) loosely translated means “I am because we are”. This simple but profound word denotes that we are interconnected and intertwined with each other. In other words, “I am who I am because of the people around me”.

This Circle creates a cross-generational community of changemakers across Africa, looking into how to reinvent our individual and collective futures – enveloped in the ethos of Ubuntu.

About us

This Circle is a community of practice. Co-founded by The Club of Rome and the LearningPlanet Alliance, it brings together a small working group of committed actors who are already active in local learning and sustainability led initiatives across the African continent to: 

  • address African challenges to accessing education from African contexts and cultures, reshaping solutions based in “modernization” and “development” models conceived within a colonial mindset;
  • learn from indigenous African wisdom (Ubuntu, Ukama, Omenala, Iwa, Suban, Bumuntu and other concepts and practices) to nurture modern knowledge and reconcile it with how life works; 
  • create the conditions for the emergence in African processes of inquiry and learning, opening many pathways towards place-based equitable human well-being within a healthy biosphere.

Our actions in this Ubuntu Learning Circle are to: 

  • Improve education access, breaking the ‘digital divide’
  • Advocate and empower Ubuntu-centred ways of learning, prioritising indigenous learning practices and cross-generational knowledge transfers

Failure to be bold in our dreams & imagination is what has kept Africa where it is. Let’s be bold – the bolder the better!”

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, Co-President of The Club of Rome, during the 2023 LearningPlanet Festival

Watch our LearningPlanet Festival 2023 session replay


 Our projects

     Our Ubuntu Learning Charter, made at the genesis of this Circle, was presented during the LearningPlanet Festival 2022’s           Learning for Sustainability event hosted by the LearningPlanet Alliance and The Club of Rome.

    This was followed by The Afrik-Akili Declaration, launched by The Club of Rome: watch it here

    The Circle is housed within the The Fifth Element 

    ULC picto

    Get involved

    Joining our Circle is free and open to anyone that wants to get involved, at any level. Sign up below to join our circle, participate in meetings and stay informed of ongoing Ubuntu Learning Circle actions and events, including dedicated sessions at the annual LearningPlanet Festival. 

    See our blog for summaries of previous sessions

    More about the coalition co-leads

    • The LearningPlanet Alliance and its global network of game changers and institutions are committed to joining forces to better take care of ourselves, others and the planet;
    • The Club of Rome is a platform of diverse thought leaders who identify holistic solutions to complex global issues and promote policy initiatives and action to enable humanity to emerge from multiple planetary emergencies. Its expansive network of academics and practitioners furthers its mission to propose solutions through scientific analysis, communication, and advocacy.


    Other Ubuntu Learning Circle members include: The Club of Rome members, All-Africa Students Union, LEAP Schools, Tamkeen Community Foundation, STEM Club Project Africa, BRIDGES Sustainability Science Coalition, LearningPlanet Youth Council (Youth Café Kenya, South Africa Youth Climate Action Plan)