The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) is the youth wing of the African National Congress.
Its foundation in 1944 by Ashley Peter Mda, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo marked the rise of a new generation of leadership of South Africa's black African population. It developed a manifesto in 1944 and published a program in 1948. The first president was Anton Lembede
By the end of the 1940s, the Youth League had gained control of the African National Congress. It called for civil disobedience and strikes in protest at the hundreds of laws associated with the new apartheid system. These protests were often met with force by the South African Government. In 1950, 18 blacks were killed during a walkout, while protesters, including Mandela, were jailed and beaten for their opposition to the government.