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Strengthening youth participation in governance

2021-10-06  Paheja Siririka

Strengthening youth participation in governance
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Member of Parliament Patience Masua said it is important for every young person to have the right to participate in all spheres of society, and for state parties to ensure active youth participation in governance.

Masua (22) shared this at the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Youth Symposium in Nairobi, Kenya last week. The seminar was held with the aim of showcasing progress and priorities on youth development and engagement in Africa.

“The member states must facilitate the creation or strengthening of platforms for youth participation in decision-making at local, national, regional and continental levels of government,” stated the parliamentarian.

She added that the guarantee of the participation of youth in parliament and other decision-making bodies under the prescribed laws must also be assured, including equal access to young men and women to participate in decision-making and in fulfilling civic duties.

APRM, which is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN), was initiated in 2002 and established in 2003 by the African Union in the framework of the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as a tool for sharing experiences and reinforcing best practices. Out of 54 countries on the African continent, 41 have ascended to the APRM.

Other missions include identifying deficiencies and assessing capacity-building needs to foster policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration.

Masua added: “Discuss ways and means by which we as citizens of this great continent of Africa can strengthen youth participation in APRM governance processes. We do not have to re-invent the wheel.”

The APRM states that emphasis in Namibia should be geared toward youth unemployment, focused policy processes as part of broader social, economic and public policy frameworks.

The recommendations from the targeted review further advise Namibia to address the youth unemployment problem with education and training programmes, government procurement policies and agro-processing programmes.

Masua said as a response measure, Namibia has set objectives to reform the education system through actions such as curriculum adaptation for technical and entrepreneurship subjects to be offered throughout the curriculum, and to strengthen vocational and technical training.

“These policies are vital aspects of addressing youth unemployment challenges. The targeted review underscored the need to establish a sovereign wealth fund as an active and sustainable way of managing Namibia’s revenue from natural resources,” reads the targeted review report.

- psiririka@nepc.com.na


2021-10-06  Paheja Siririka

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