KAMPALA – Young people have been urged to stop being rigid and engage with their leaders to enable them participate in politics if they are to achieve youth inclusion.
“I call on you not to shy away from participating in the political space in your country. I don’t agree with leaders who charge high fees for contesting for positions in a bid to frustrate young people from participating,” he said.
The call was made by the former Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly, Dan Kidega while speaking during the Africa Regional Conference in Kampala.
The conference ran on the theme: Advancing youth political participation and leadership in Africa.
Mr. Kidega said that there is a need to invest in young people for any country to prosper.
“Youth should not be suppressed because they are the leaders of tomorrow,” he said, adding that before he became Speaker, he moved private member’s bill to have a law in place that allows youth participation and it was passed.
The legislator is the third person to decry the monetarisation of politics which is giving way to mediocre politicians to buy their way into politics.
On Monday, March 4, while opening the Commonwealth Youth Inclusion Regional Conference held at Parliament, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga revealed that there was a disagreement with the nomination fees and promised to bring the issue in the House for purposes of reviewing.
“Uganda recognizes the critical role the youth contribute towards the development of the country… Parliament enacted laws that allow Ugandan youth to participate in politics at all levels,” Ms. Kadaga noted.
The National Youth Chairperson, Lillian Aber, had requested the Speaker to do something about the nomination fees because it’s a hindrance to youth participation in politics.
More than 200 delegates from over 15 African Commonwealth countries are taking part in the discussions.
The conference is aimed at having youth share perspectives on political participation across the continent and feel heard. It also aims to build new and develop further relationships and connections to increase peer to peer support, facilitate dialogue and conversations on how governments can work together to support and improve opportunities for youth to become more involved in politics and decision-making processes as well as innovate, plan and inspire others on how progress on ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance.