Malawi youth urged to use voting power


A Non-Governmental Organization has called on young people to use the 2019 elections as an opportunity to elect leaders who will be committed to improving the youth’s living conditions in Malawi.

The organisation, Youth and Society (YAS), has advised youth to take the coming 2019 tripartite elections as their chance of choosing people who will be considering the affairs of youth and other sidelined groups such as women.

Malawi Youth

Young people in Malawi

According to a statement released, YAS has introduced a national youth campaign called YouthDecide 2019 which is founded on the fact the outcome of 2019 elections will be decided by youth in Malawi who are still sidelined in everything.

“The 2019 elections present ordinary citizens, who are in majority such as youths and women, with their constitutional right to entrust their political power with official power-holders of their choice in a competitive election.

“With this backdrop, the YouthDecide 2019 – a signature national campaign, is dedicated to mobilising and deepening youth voice and action in setting and advancing youth development agenda in Malawi through the forthcoming 2019 democratic elections,” reads the statement.

According to a statement that YAS has issued, youth are facing a lot of challenges as some policies that were introduced to advance their interests are yet to be implemented.

YAS has in the statement said that despite the introduction of some charters that were geared to empower youth, things have not improved since Malawi adopted multiparty politics.

“Since the political pluralism, the state has not delivered on the commitments made at national, regional and international level. The African Youth Charter for example is instructive in respect of youth development and empowerment.

“In Malawi the Charter was domesticated by the National Youth Policy, but there has been no meaningful empowerment of the youth,” Reads the statement.

According to    YAS, people in power have never thought of implementing the policy despite that 60 percent of voters are youth but instead youth are victims of various tortures and abuses.

“Elections have not presented this country with leaders who have demonstrated remarkable attention by establishing systems on one hand while on the other hand resource the implementation of the policy.

“Consequently, young people continue to face daunting challenges which include unemployment to underemployment and new infections of HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, lack of access to economic opportunities has redirected the youth in Malawi to crime gangs, prostitution, teenage pregnancies, child marriages among others,” reads the statement.

The organisation notes in the statement that youth in the country continue being the victims of corporal punishment, violence, abuse and political marginalisation.

YAS has also expressed concern in terms of how youth are not given the opportunity to participate in various political positions.

“Youth continue to be depraved the right to meaningful political participation alongside women and persons with disability and other perceived marginalised people, youth do not have presence in political and governance structures,” says the statement.

YAS hopes the YouthDecide 2019 campaign will allow young people elect leaders who will advance their (youth’s) agenda.