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Special Jury Mention for a Valuable Experience in a Human Rights Violation Context

Programme of the Citizens' University of the Democratic Republic of Congo

City of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Number of the inhabitants

2 100 000 inhabitants

Promoting entity



16 April 2022

Type of experience

Citizens' initiatives /
legislative initiative

Territorial scope


Thematic area

Governance Education Local development Social inclusion


SDG 4 SDG 5 SDG 8 SDG 16

Objective of the experience

  • Integrating diversity as a criterion for inclusion
  • Strengthening unorganised citizenship
  • Extending citizenship rights linked to political participation


The province of Nord-Kivu and the City of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo have grappled with decades of inter-ethnic tensions and protracted armed conflicts, resulting in severe human rights violations and the automatic exclusion of youth, particularly young women, from decision-making processes.

In response, the Citizen University Programme of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been implemented to foster the civic and political participation of women and youth through intergenerational dialogue and participatory pedagogy. Through this program, over 400 young individuals from diverse civil society organisations have gained practical skills and assumed leadership roles in both public and private institutions, demonstrating its positive impact on the empowerment of Congolese youth.

The Citizen University initiative stands out for its innovative approach in a challenging context marked by human rights violations and its commitment to fostering female leadership in a conflict-ridden environment. Its emphasis on the structural training of future political leaders through the introduction of good governance practices underscores its significance in strengthening the democratic culture in the region.

Through its comprehensive monitoring and evaluation approach, based on participant testimonials and the observation of key indicators of empowerment and leadership skills, the Citizen University demonstrates its ongoing commitment to the development and continual improvement of its programs for the lasting benefit of Congolese society.