‘Empower youths in governance processes’

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Joy Mabenge

BY METHEMBE SIBANDA

ACTION Aid Zimbabwe has called for deliberate policies and programmes that support youths to participate in democratic and governance processes.

The non-governmental organisation made the call during a youth training programme in Harare on Thursday.

ActionAid country director Joy Mabenge urged the government to develop policies to capacitate the youth for inclusive democratic governance.

“When youths are capacitated, they are able to form a critical mass of co-ordinated youth activists to collectively engage with duty bearers, claim their rights to be included in decision-making processes, demand for youth responsive public services and to influence local and national government policy and practices to address their needs,” Mabenge said.

There is limited participation of young people in national and local decision-making processes.

Critics argued this negatively impacts the capacity of the youth to constructively engage with policymakers and government decision-makers.

“To this end, any programming focusing on increasing meaningful youth participation should focus on not only facilitating for young people to be involved, but rather target their needs” Mabenge said.

“Young people especially women and marginalised people are resilient shocks and enjoy their right to protection in fragile situations, disasters and protracted crises.”

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