Zimbabwe Youths demand participation in govt

Politics is typically regarded as a space for politically experienced older men while young people are systematically marginalised because of their age and projected lack of experience.

However, youths from various political parties are demanding participation in the government saying political parties should establish youth quotas as a means of increasing the number of young members of parliament.

In Zimbabwe young people constitute 77 percent of the national population according to the last census held in 2012.

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, out of the 5 310 734 registered voters, youths and women constitute the bulk of people who have registered to vote under the biometric voter registration.

Now there is a narrative that whoever wins the youth vote is set to win the elections yet the young people are saying they are aware that in the past they were a fertile ground for manipulation by politicians.

Political parties are being called upon to elevate the promotion of young people’s right to run for public office and address the wide spread issue of age discrimination where young people are often excluded or overlooked as political candidates.

The youths concurred that the time of being used by politicians to advance their own interests is over.

Increased access to micro-financing opportunities or credit to enable young people to start their own businesses and eventually generate jobs is another challenge cited by the youths.

The government of Zimbabwe adopted a national youth policy that seeks to empower the youth through creating an environment which enables them to reach their full potential, economically, politically and socially.

Over the past ten years there has been growing recognition of the importance of youth participation in policy making.

This has been driven by a growing consensus that youth participation in policy processes is not only a demonstrated value but a political right.

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