Youth unemployment and increased crime rate have recently been blamed on the minimal engagement of youths by the county governments.
In this regard, Kisumu County youth leaders have come out to call for inclusion in both governance and political participation.
We seek to open up a space where the young voices matter and also build into a bigger goal of youth policy in Kisumu CountyCiku Kihika
During a forum convened by Tribeless Youth in Kisumu, the leaders said issues of peace and unemployment were still a concern in the County.
According to Boniface Akatch, Founder of Sitarusha Mawe Tena Organization, government has excluded young people denying them enough space to share ideas that can inspire the youth.
Akatch said these therefore prompts the need to sit down with the elected leaders and air out some of their views and contributions.
Akatch added that as youth organizations ,human rights defenders and civil society members, they have trained young people to enable them participate in good governance and development.
“We decided to sit down, think out issues and develop manifestos that we will be presenting to the leaders,” he noted.
This he said will include challenges facing the youth in the society and prescribe solutions to some of them.
“We want them to harm themselves with information and have an idea of the constitution so that if we are to engage, we engage effectively,” Akatch said.
He emphasized on fast-tracking of the same in order to device ways forward so that they can be able to follow up.
“As leaders, we don’t want to be ambushed by manifestos that don’t relate with or represent youth interest”Boniface Akatch
Akatch further called upon youths to come up with manifestos that can champion effective discussion and help fight the under-inclusion menace.
He added: “As leaders, we don’t want to be ambushed by manifestos that don’t relate with or represent youth interest.”
Among other organizers like human right defenders, youth and civil society organizations, the team discussed different thematic areas with relation to political participation.
Speaking at the forum, Ciku Kihika, Tribeless Youth leader explained that political participation does not end just by counting votes but goes beyond to governance process .
“The major key issue discussed was economic inclusion that speaks to unemployment and creation of an environment for inclusive political participation and governance,” she explained.
Kihika said the forum therefore offered an opportunity for youths to come together, share and chat on future plans to deal with their issues.
“We seek to open up a space where the young voices matter and also build into a bigger goal of youth policy in Kisumu County,”Kihika said.
The forum was supported by Voice Global, an organization that works with young people in different thematic areas to create spaces for political participation.