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Forum launches the "Youth Election Manifesto" competition
November 24, 2011
are an integral part of society and their input and participation
in their countries' governance is necessary to effect political
and economic reform. However, many lack the skills and opportunity
to communicate with policymakers and get involved in their country's
development. Youth are often disengaged from the political process
and rarely develop the sense of citizenship that is so crucial to
building an inclusive, participatory democracy.
are often the victims of tyranny and are widely disempowered and
impoverished; particularly in Africa where the culturally embedded
belief is that young people must only be seen and not heard. It
is sad to note that the participation of youths in most African
political parties is mainly confined to acting as the private militia
of such political parties, and the role of young people is to mete
out violence against opponents of their parties.
It is, however,
encouraging to note that the trend is slowly being broken given
the rising levels of literacy amongst young people and the social
changes and exchanges brought about by globalization and access
to information. Young people are intensifying their demand for political
space and their right to participation. However, their need for
involvement is not fully appreciated and they are often gagged and
Declaration of Human Rights, to which Zimbabwe is a signatory,
states that "Everyone has the right to take part in the government
of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives."
Young people form the bulk the world's and Zimbabwe's
population and are therefore entitled to citizen participation.
Citizen participation is a process where people seek to influence
decisions of government.
have promised to come out and vote in their numbers in all coming
elections. This has been realised through the Youth Forum's
"Youth Go Register and Vote" campaign the organization
is running, aimed at adding one million young voters to the voters'
roll before the next election. With many youths registering and
promising to register and vote, the Youth Forum has decided to take
the campaign one step further, by helping the youths choose what
(and not who) to vote for.
This will be
achieved through the "Youth Election Manifesto" competition
where youths voters aged 17-24 years will come up with issues they
want addressed by those who want the very significant youth vote.
Youth Election Manifesto Competition
As a young person,
there are certain problems or challenges that the youth, you included,
are facing in Zimbabwe. Clearly identify these problems and challenges
as well as explaining how you would want the country's next
government to address these problems and challenges so that the
situation of youths in Zimbabwe can be improved. You are also expected
to explain why you would sacrifice your time to vote for certain
individuals/party and not others during the next elections that
will be held in Zimbabwe.
NB: there is
no limit to the length of this essay and each entrant reserves the
right to present their work in the format that they feel expresses
their work to the fullest. Entrants can also present their work
in a language of their choice.
should meet the following criteria:
1. A registered
2. Be between
the ages of 17 and 24 years.
3. All manifestos
can be sent to the following email addresses:
Or can be brought
Room 701, 7th
(Opposite Construction House)
4. All entrants
must be sent by the 15th of January 2012.
A panel of judges
will be contracted by the Youth Forum to select the top 5 manifestos/essays
and these will be ranked accordingly. The winning entrant will receive
a prize of US$300 as well as a chance to represent the Youth Forum
at a Leadership Training School for 2012 while the four runners
up will receive consolation prices at a ceremony to be hosted by
the Youth Forum.
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