Political parties in the country have agreed to form independent youth wings in a bid to end abuse of youth by politicians and to encourage young people’s participation in politics.
Political parties under Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) have said they will allow their youth to form affiliated independent bodies that will see youth having meaningful contributions in their parties.
According to CMD chairperson Kandi Padambo, the role of youths in political parties in Malawi will be redefined as the young people will be able to choose their own youth leaders and have structures rather than being incorporated into the main structures of the party.
“The structure of parties in Malawi has not been conducive to the participation of the kind of youths that parties would like to have,” he said.
He added that reforming youth wings will also allow parties to have a clear definition of who is a youth.
CMD with funding from Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DPID) has since trained young people from various political parties in Malawi to strengthen their participation in politics.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting in Lilongwe, Chairperson for DPID Henrik Bach Mortensen said it is important for all groups to be represented in politics if there is to be a stable and viable democracy that is supported by the general population.
“That is why DPID creates programs which enhances participation of youth and women in active politics,” he said.
A young politician from Alliance for Democracy (Aford) Grace Banda said the issues discussed at the meeting have helped them understand that politics is not about violence and that as young people from different political parties they can come together and discuss issues of common interest.
“The training will help us set up strong youth wings that will have meaningful participation in politics and people can see change,” said Banda.
CMD is a membership organisation established for political parties represented in Parliament.