The Role Of Youth In Sustaining Peace Before, During And After Elections.int
For Immediate Release
Friday 14th August, 2020
Members of the press
Uganda Youth Inter-Faith Network representatives
We greet you all in the name of the almighty!
The Uganda Youth Inter-Faith Network is n umbrella platform for young people under the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda that organizes and builds young people in their respective institutions. This platform raises issues that concern the youth for the common good. Today, this network is here to talk about the role of young people in sustaining peace before, during and after elections.
Youth Participation in Leadership and the Electoral Process
Youth are believed be the leaders of tomorrow. However, leaders of tomorrow start today. We have often been overlooked as political candidates- a space that is typically regarded for politically ‘experienced men’. We are continuously marginalized because of our age, limited opportunities and projected lack of experience.
Fellow youth, we are the majority; educated, energetic and have the potential to lead. We have the interests of our fellow young people at heart because we are part and parcel of their needs and interests.
With electoral activities ongoing, we urge young people to take up leadership positions not only at party level but also general elections. We urge young people to take up leadership positions at all levels and also to actively participate in the general elections as aspirants, voters, observers, agents and in any other activities related to the elections. We believe that when we young people take up positions of decision making, we are better placed to plan and serve our follow youth and build the Uganda we want.
Youth and Violence
Any electoral process has its downside and frustrations that breed tension and violence. In most cases, the biggest number of victims of violence are we the young people. This is attributed to their availability and energy that in most times is taken advantage of. Monetization of the electoral process in Uganda has further created division among the electorate especially the youth. This has also been fostered by the growing youth population which at the same time is disproportionately burdened by unemployment and underemployment. This situation causes both emotional and physical stress among the young people and clouds their judgement. Monetized elections end up undermining people with potential to lead and that cripples the democratic process.
We call upon all the youth to guard against manipulation and apply our energies in peaceful, credible, free and fair elections.
Technology to promote peace
As youth, we have the biggest advantage by far to effectively use technology to promote a peaceful election. We are exposed to many social media platforms that we can use to advocate for peace and social cohesion before, during and after elections. We appeal to all young political aspirants to embrace social media platforms as an avenue to constructively engage the electorate and also push for our shared agenda, vision and values.
In conclusion, as we all gear up for the forthcoming elections, let us not forget that the deadly COVID-19 is real and we ought to stay safe. It is important to keep in mind that even after these elections, Uganda will still exist and it is our duty as citizens to ensure that the nation traverses this phase and electoral season peacefully and safely.
For God and My Country
Hajj Abdul Nasser Magezi
Chairperson Uganda Youth Interfaith Network
For and on behalf of the Uganda Youth Interfaith Network-UYIN