Saturday, 13 August 2016
Photo: Trust broken between politicians and youth
A survey by Afrobarometer showed that the youth in Africa are losing interest in politics.
Joseph Maniragena partnership officer at African Monitor said: “Young people see politicians as corrupt people and therefore they are not inspired. Young people‚ specifically in South Africa‚ don't see any change. Political parties come during elections ... After elections‚ politicians don't come back.”
The survey‚ conducted by Afrobarometer in 36 African states‚ showed that the youth had low interest in politics‚ civil action and community rallies when compared to people over the age of 35.
The report‚ released in Constitution Hill today‚ showed that one-third (33%) of young people say they attended at least one event in the previous year‚ compared to 37% of older citizens.
It further showed that less than half (47%) say they attended a community meeting at least once during the previous year‚ while 40% joined others to raise an issue.
Young women’s participation lags behind that of their male peers by 9 percentage points‚ on average.
The study did not look at the reasons for the lack of interest in politics among young people.
Maniragena said one factor which reduced interest was the feeling of exploitation.
“Politicians do not keep their promises and the youth feel that they are being used. Young people do not see real change taking place in their community. Their expectation is that voting should be bringing change but that is not happening‚” Maniragena told TMG Digital.
Tony Mathipa‚ president of Youth for Human Rights SA‚ said there needed to be a shift in how politics is presented to the youth.
“Maybe we need to put it in our own language. I am Pedi. If I can say this is what politics is in Sepedi‚ maybe young people can easily understand how to participate and will be able to make decision about their country.”
Mathipa added that the youth needed to understand the importance of dialogue in society.
“It is very important to encourage dialogue at any level‚ especially at schools so that when they engage in dialogue‚ they are then able to understand political issues. The youth themselves should initiate the dialogue and invite government‚ civic society and business and engage them on the needs of the community‚” he said.
Source- African Monitor
African Monitor is an independent continental body which monitors development funding commitments and the effect of these on communities.