The Youth National Parliament Want to Participate in the Decision Making
As is the case in many African countries, the average age in the Ivory Coast is decreasing, with more than 79% of the population being less than 35 years old. And, like many African countries, Ivoirian youth continues to be excluded from full participation in social and political opportunities in their country.
In an effort to counter this problem, on September 8 and 9, 2016, the National Assembly (NA) of Ivory Coast, supported by the USAID/Legislative Support Program, held a National Youth Parliament Workshop in Abidjan. The workshop’s central theme was “Civic and political engagement of youth in Ivory Coast’s democratic process” and the goal was to revitalize the National Youth Parliament as an interface between the youth and the government. In order to provide them with some practical tools for engagement, workshop also included training on advocacy and public policy monitoring.
“It is important for the youth today to be socially active on the basis of a strong intellectual education” - Benjamin OLAGBOYE, Program Coordinator USAID
Appointed by the NA President as his representative for this workshop, Kone Tehfour (MP) urged all young Ivorians to get involved in the country’s development rather than seeking opportunities by emigrating. With a strong civic commitment coupled with solid skills obtained through their studies, they shall become the engine for the development of their nation.
Throughout the course of the two days of the workshop, the 20 young participants, drawn from across the country, and 12 MPs engaged in a lively discussion of the issues. Among the recommendations coming out of these discussions was for the government to increase the opportunities for youth to participate in decision making at a local level and for the National Assembly to designate focal points in each of the parliament’s permanent commissions to assure a more effective interaction between youth and the National Assembly.
As expressed by Sahie André, President of the National Youth Parliament, this activity was a valuable opportunity for her and her colleagues to be introduced into the political debate and for them to develop the skills in advocacy that they need for them to advance the priorities of all Ivorian youth.
Posted September 26, 2016