Democracy gives power to the people to have a say and to play active roles on issues that affect them and their communities. Before some serious decisions are made, there is need to consult the grassroots. This is the reason why our parliamentarians usually say that I made such such a decision after I consulted people of my constituency.
This is what makes democracy a very good system of government because of such decentralised elements in the operations of power holders. This element greatly elevates democracy on top of all other systems of government.
However, a closer look at the consultation process itself shows that the youth are not involved in such processes. This is in spite of the fact that older people who are in authority today are just caretakers waiting for a time whereby the youths will take over the mantle.
Furthermore, it seems the powers that be are not aware that the youths do have a lot of expectations from their leaders. They have a lot at stake and they really need to be heard because they have a voice too.
They are the ones who know how long and how hard they travel to reach a nearest primary or secondary school. Just like their elders, they also get sick and use the same local public clinics that are in their area and they badly need Sexual Reproductive Health Services and information. The youths also need recreational centres where they can go and productively spend their time. Thus, avoiding a number of immoral behaviours they could have engaged themselves into.
The list of their needs is too long and their concerns are so numerous for someone to just guess. The youth have a voice and they really need to be consulted.
There is overwhelming evidence that proves that youth involvement in the formulation or implementation of projects and programmes leads to their success. When the youths are involved right from the start, a sense of ownership and responsibility towards the initiative develops in them and it leads to its success.
Meaningful participation will enable the youths to align their youth development programmes with the needs of their communities, schools and young people in the society.
My plea is that the youth should have a say on issues that affect them and their communities.