While a large number of civil society organizations and political parties are fighting for the empowerment of youth and increased representation of youth leaders in the 2019 Tripartite Elections, this aspiration may not be attained if male youth aspirants continue to be sidelined.
This is according to Charles Kajoloweka, Executive Director for Youth and Society (YAS), a Non-Governmental Organization in Mzuzu.
Kajoloweka who was speaking at the launch of (YD-2019) among media stakeholders in an interview in Mzuzu on Tuesday explained that most NGOs are not prepared to support male youth aspirants in their 2019 Tripartite Elections political race as the organizations are focusing on female youth and women due to their funding agreements, albeit at the expense of the male youth.
“The most marginalized group is the male youth. As Youth Decide Campaign we would like to have both male and female youth. We will conduct capacity building for all youth. We all need to invest in empowering the male youth if we are to attain empowerment of the youth,” Kajoloweka said.
Speaking in an interview, one of the youthful male political aspirants Kelvin Sato who lost in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) primary elections in Mzimba North East said apart from being sidelined, a growing culture of handouts among the electorate is one of the other challenges affecting effective participation male youth as candidates in elections.
“People have a corrupted mind, it looks like many of us that are running for this race, we need to set aside between 10 to 20 million for campaigning. Some of us young people may not have that huge amount of money.
“So the challenge we are facing is lack of money because no organisation is giving money for campaigns. Unlike women who get a lot of support from the 50:50 Campaign,” Sato said.
The YD-2019 Campaign is aimed at mobilizing youth to influence national policy dialogue in order to ensure that policies that promote youth development are enacted by the Government that will be formulated beyond 21 May, 2019, among others.