A coalition of civil society organizations on Tuesday launched the Platform for Youth Inclusion in Politics (PYIP) aimed at enhancing the engagement and participation of young people in political discourse.
Over 100 national and regional civil society groups including Restless Development, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Action Aid, Global Platforms, Faraja Africa Foundation, IDEAS Uganda, YouLead Summit, Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA), Open Space Centre, Inter Party Youth Platform, Youth Coalition on Electoral Democracy(YCED), East African Youth Leaders’ Initiative on the ACDEG, among others have converged to pilot PYIP.
The launch in Uganda comes at a time when the country is going for a ‘scientific’ election precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
PYIP is expected to galvanize efforts and collaboration by young democracy actors and their organizations in pre, during and post 2021 general elections.
The Manager of the Global Platforms at Action Aid Uganda, Mr. Primus Bahiigi said the lunch is timely.
“PYIP comes at a time when the shrinking civic and political space makes it hard for any interventions aimed at improving the quality of youth leadership to achieve their aims,” said Bahiigi.
It is also expected push the youth agenda forward on aspects like inclusive development, policy and legislation that will enable Uganda, the EAC Community and the continent to benefit from the huge youth population.
Prosper Mubangizi, a Policy Analyst working with CEPA, has been named PYIP’s interim Spokesperson while the secretariat is housed at the Global Platforms of Action Aid Uganda.
Speaking at the launch, Mubangizi said the platform’s work will be hinged on five core actions such as voter mobilization; young people’s issues and policy demands; legal framework and electoral justice; monitoring the electoral process; and Health of the Youth Movement.
“Young people face great challenges generating accountability from their local leadership because there is no forum in which they can interact regularly and constructively with local and national government leadership,” he said.
The members of the Youth Coalition on Electoral Democracy led by Ivan Otim and Ms. Teopista Kizza reiterated their commitment to an issue based electoral agenda informed by the demands and aspirations of the young people in the 2020/2025 National Youth Manifesto that is currently being drafted.
Representatives of the different members of the civil society coalition noted that resolving Africa’s governance challenge would lead to trickle-down benefits such as improved quality of education, accessible and affordable healthcare, smooth school to work transitions, a conducive environment for innovation, among others.