The Role of Political Parties in Enhancing Youth Participation in Politics
To commemorate the 2020 United Nations International Youth Day (August 12, 2020), themed 2020 Youth Engagement for Global Action, YDC organised a regional dialogue to shed light on how political parties in Africa can be at the forefront of increasing youth participation in politics especially to contest for elective offices. The Keynote Speaker, President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, underscored that political parties have huge responsibilities in mentoring and supporting young people through the political process. He noted that there was a need for affirmative action in political parties across the continent that would ensure that young people can be in an executive position so that they can be part of the process of choosing flagbearers. Panellists included Rawan Taha (Programme Analyst with UNDP) from Egypt; Moussa Kondo (Country Director, Accountability Lab) from Mali and Giftie Umo (Founder, Girls Leading Africa, USA). Others included Julius Karl Fieve (an International Development Specialist) from Ghana; Tendai Mtana (Advisor, City Diplomacy Office, Governor’s Office, Mombasa) from Kenya; Samuel Ajibola (Actor and Youth Governance Advocate) from Nigeria and Matseke Naka (Medical/Business Professional and Good Governance Observer) from South Africa.
Some of the recommendations were to take the advocacy to political parties to reduce the cost of procuring nomination forms; encourage young people to become card-carrying and active members of political parties of their choice; enlighten parents to equip their children with the upbringing on active participation in politics, and to have political gladiators and former officeholders mentor young people for political leadership.
Over 120 participants from Africa and North America took part in the session.