Despite progress in broadening the democratic politics with stronger democratic participation, opportunities for youth participation in politics and governance are still limited. The inclusion of youth needs and perspectives in political parties’ policies and programs is still inadequate despite the constitutional recognition of youth as a marginalized group and the attendant requirement for their inclusion in development policies and programs. The participation of young people in political parties and processes has over time remained low.
The youth project was instituted in 2011 through partnership with the Danish Liberal Party Program (DLDP). For the period 2011-2013, the focus of the project was to enhance the participation of youth in politics. During that phase, the project created immense opportunities for better integration of the youth in political parties. This was evident in the 2013 general elections when high numbers of young people participated as candidates and also as voters.
Although the first phase of the project confirmed that young people increased willingness to take part in politics, it was evident that without a proper platform within parties for leadership training; coaching and mentoring, the youth would still be consigned to peripheral roles in mainstream politics. As such, the current phase of the youth project is seeking to build capacity of the political parties’ themselves and particularly their youth wings. The project will seek to enhance the capacities and skills of parties; including party leaders, to offer an opportunity for leadership training and mentorship for young members. Another key objective of the present phase is to strengthen party youth wings and leagues including through their active engagement and participation in the formulation and articulation of party policies. The project seeks to strengthen the youth leaders’ capacities to initiate strong issue-based policy formulation and facilitate their meaningful involvement in political parties.