There has been a wrong perception of why young people should vote – as to them only being used as catalyst for change during elections but not equally represented and the promises not delivered upon. This is blatantly wrong as by voting you are letting your voice be heard.
To young voters out there who are still wondering why they should vote and who they should vote for, my advice is to think of your future and that of your family and friends. Think about the five years ahead of us and what aspect of your life will be tremendously impacted by the decisions that will be made during the reign of the regional and local authority councillors.
Voting is a constitutional right, privilege and democratic tool that we as Namibians have at our disposal to influence public policy and political actions. It is the backbone of every approach to collective decision-making and nation-building, as well as the cornerstone of democracy.
The will and interest in political activities among the youth, which would drive youth interest and aspirations into the larger national development agenda, remains non-existent. Hence there is a dire need for young people to understand the right to vote to acknowledge its significance on the political climate.
Through voting you have the chance to influence the government via your local representation, which can convey your sentiments on the national level. We need to respect, value and appreciate those who fought for our voting rights by fulfilling our civic duty and not betray the men and women who fought for us to have these equal rights.
Lastly, young people make up the largest segment of Namibia’s population who are faced with countless social and economic challenges with unemployment topping the list, lack of housing, education, etc. So if they decide not to participate in the elections it will portray an image of them not wanting change, but only being complainers.