In the 21st century, it is appalling that some constitutions advocate for old man’s politics, for example, section 91 subsection 1 (a) of the Zimbabwean constitution states that ‘A person qualifies for election as President or Vice-President if he or she has attained the age of forty years’.
There is no doubt that the youths are excluded from the political bus.
Who is a youth? There is no common view of this question. From my own perspective, a youth is anyone between 15-35 years of age. Objections are allowed but let us focus on the fulcrum of this matter.
They say experience is the best teacher of life, but does experience mean old age. They say good decision making comes from the old, but why do we have worst rulership from the so-called old man in some countries?
When I look at all this, I wonder why the youths are excluded from the political bus. Some will say the youths are not politically active, but do we have the right environment to facilitate youth involvement in politics?
The sits are normally reserved for the old…they seat comfortably whilst forcing out the youths to climb and hang outside the political bus. This is real ladies and gentlemen.
Youth constitute a fifth of the World’s population yet their participation in the political space is limited. The United Nations predicted that globally the average age of parliamentarians is 53.
Look at the average age of those in political administration and compare it with the youth volume in our population. It’s disproportionate and deliberately so. We are being told that there is no room for the youth, which means no room for the future.
The youths are the lifeblood of communities, the lifeblood of any activities, the catalyst of change, yet they don’t have a sit on the political bus!
We are sick and tired of being hoodwinked into believing that the youths are fully incorporated because of a paltry one or two youth in the parliament. Marginal improvement! My foot.
We want genuine inclusion! Reserve sits for the youths in the political bus. I urge governments in Africa to include youth in the formal political systems.
A peaceful and prosperous Africa is possible if the youths are included in the political bus.
To the African Union, you talk about “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020”… that’s a noble cause but its only possible if the youths are genuinely incorporated in genuine important decision-making processes.
The young population in Africa is growing at an alarming rate so is poverty. Rising youth population plus poverty is a disaster.
Most of the youths are unemployed and are living in extreme poverty paving way for violence (gangs and predatory activities).
Sociologists and other various scholars pointed out that violence could be a response to their marginalization and social and economic exclusions. Let me make it clear that I am not an advocate of violence but my job is just to lay out facts as they are.
Make sits for the youths in the political bus. Make space for the youths in the political environment. The time is ripe, the bells are ringing.
It is time to create an enabling and equitable environment for youth in Africa. It is time to create space for the youths in the political bus.