By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
As we celebrate Africa Day there has been a call for the full inclusion of youths in decision making processes and boards of the continent. This year’s Africa Day is being commemorated under the theme; Arts, culture and Heritage: Levers for building the Africa we want.
The larger part of the continent comprises of young people hence they are the leaders of tomorrow and the need for them to be included in all forms of decision making.
It has been noted that the youth and women quota systems are not being recognized but being used to push certain agendas of certain political parties.
In interviews carried out by Bustop TV news, youths in Masvingo expressed their desires and the need for the government to recognize them and fulfill their promise.
Fungai Rumano said, “The government and the constitution of Zimbabwe states that the youths must fully participate in decision making processes but it is different in our country. This is all in writing, a thing that has never fulfilled the same as the so called inclusion of women which by now is still on paper.
“Policies and Acts must be put into practice and not have them on writing only. There is also need for information dissemination to all youths so that they can be aware of their rights and stand up for themselves because as far as l am concerned only a few youths are aware of their rights and what the Constitution states,’ he said.
Another Great Zimbabwe University Student, stated that, “The political atmosphere in the country is threatening, if one stands up for the rights of others at the end one faces persecution. This has installed fear in many youths and this has led to the decreasing numbers of youths participating in the decision making processes.
“This should change and we should enjoy our rights without any interference and this will see many youths becoming active in decision making policies and boards,” she said.
The Youth Charter states that there should be a guarantee in the participation of youth in parliament and other decision making bodies in accordance with the prescribed laws. The youths must have representatives as part of delegations to ordinary sessions and other relevant meetings to broaden channels of communication and enhance the discussion of youth related issues.
In a statement released by Social Democrats Association, (SODA) the exclusion of the youths is against the spirit of the African Charter article 11, which states that every young person shall have the right to participate in all spheres of society and State Parties shall take measure to promote active youth participation in the society.
The African Agenda 2063 should be in tandem with the African Youth Charter. Policies must be implemented and should not be on writing only.