Aya Chebbi, is a Pan-African feminist and diplomat whose mission is the liberation of African women and girls. She rose to prominence as a voice for democracy during 2010/2011 Tunisia’s Revolution, which toppled a twenty-three-year dictatorship. She has single handedly transformed the youth leadership space across Africa and impacted over one million young people. She served as the first ever African Union Special Envoy on Youth and the youngest diplomat at the Chairperson’s Cabinet (2018 – 2021). She is currently the Founder of Nalafem, one of Africa’s largest multigenerational alliances of women politicians and activists united towards transformative feminist change. She holds Bachelors in International Relations from University of Tunis El Manar and Masters in African Politics from SOAS, University of London. She also served on the World Refugee Council, WHO Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, Progressive International Council, Oxfam Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, among others which produced trailblazing reports in the humanitarian, gender and development fields. She received the Gates Campaign Award and was named in Forbes Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women.
In her role as African Union Envoy on Youth, she met and advocated to over 30 Heads of State and Governments and 190 global leaders on the youth agenda in Africa and the diaspora which resulted in policy changes continentally and globally and increase in youth appointments nationally. She has mobilized the Youth Silencing the Guns Campaign which has become African Union’s largest youth campaign and main platform on Youth, Peace and Security agenda including the adoption by AU Peace and Security Council of the premier Continental Framework for Youth, Peace and Security. She has curated the internationally acclaimed concept of Intergenerational Co-leadership and engaged millions of young people during COVID-19 pandemic, documented in the Africa Youth Lead Policy Paper. (Read End Of Mandate Reflections)
Over the span of the past decade, she has single handedly transformed the youth participation space across Africa and created various online and offline platforms with a holistic focus on youth and women leadership and impacted over 1 million young people. From running an award winning blog Proudly Tunisian and a popular Mentorship Programme Y-PHEM to building Afrika Youth Movement, one of Africa’s largest pan-African youth-led movements and Afresist, a think tank training the next generation of Pan-African peacebuilders.
On gender advocacy, Aya has also widely mobilized young women resulting in groundbreaking political document, Africa Young Women Manifesto and established the first of its kind Nala Feminist Collective (Nalafem), one of Africa’s largest multigenerational alliances of women politicians and activists united towards transformative feminist change.
She served on the Board of Directors of CIVICUS, World Refugee Council, Oxfam Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation Advisory, Progressive International Council, Generation Unlimited, Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, the Council of the Africa Public Health Foundation among others.
She is a graduate of University of Tunis El Manar with Bachelor in International Relations, Fulbright scholar at Georgia Southern University and Mo Ibrahim Foundation Scholar for her Masters in African Politics at SOAS, University of London. She received diplomas from Tufts University, Columbia University and University of Denver.
Chebbi’s extensive experience made her an influential leading voice known for rebranding Africa and commitment to peacebuilding, gender equality and Africa’s integration. The notion “my liberation is your liberation” drives her work in building sisterhood, movements, and power for collective liberation. Although she was blacklisted and banned from entering Egypt since March 2014, she continued to travel the continent organizing thousands of young people in non-violent activism and Pan-African Leadership.