Who speaks on behalf of youth in 2020 General Elections?

One must ask, who speaks on behalf of youth in the election process during campaigns and policy development? On the other hand, how do we ensure that policies and frameworks reflect the needs of youth from all across the country? And lastly, each one of the political parties will disseminate their individual manifesto, but who do they consult to prepare them?

Seeing a great need to give youth one voice, efforts to create the Tanzania Youth Manifesto were pioneered by Tanzania Youth Vision Association (TYVA) by the creation of the youth agenda 2005-2010 and 2010-2015. In 2015 Restless Development scaled the intervention by convening 8 other youth CSOs including TYVA to form a coalition to create the first Tanzanian Youth Manifesto by conducting consultations in 19 regions in Tanzania which led to the creation of the 10 issues for youth to be championed in the 2015-2020 general elections.

Why the Youth Manifesto?

The Youth Manifesto is a formal declaration of the youth priorities for the next five years. It provides a tool that Tanzanian youth can use to influence politics, shape policies and hold elected leaders accountable. The Youth Manifesto enables youth to check and balance the implementation of the elected candidates’ campaign promises but also monitor their inclusivity in the development of policies and frameworks.

The Manifesto acts as an intervention that will champion evidence-based youth policies that address real-life factors that cause youth underrepresentation. It will provide a multi-dimensional diagnosis of the situation of Tanzanian youth, and provide a platform for youth-led policy recommendations. This, in turn, will pave way for inclusive youth frameworks in the country’s economy and thus allow their socio-economic transformation.

Who is Championing the 2020-2025 Tanzania Youth Manifesto?

This year Tanzania Youth Consortium on Election (Ajenda ya Vijana) is championing the creation of the 2020-2025 Youth manifesto. The consortium was founded by 13 you-led NGOs including both TYVA and Restless Development with more than 10 years of experience in preparing the youth agenda combined. The Consortium’s efforts begun with building on what has been done by youth CSOs in the past including the 2015-2020 youth Manifesto but also scale the consultations to include all regions in Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.

Is the Manifesto the only solution for the youth agenda?

The success of championing the  youth agenda does not lie with only the coordinated efforts of Youth-led interventions, but also the absence of good frameworks from the government. Currently we have an outdated National Youth Policy that was created back in 2007 and the enactment of the National Youth Council Act in 2015 with no elected youth council. This means that there is no formal youth framework when it comes to guiding the creation of national development frameworks.

Recognizing this, Ajenda ya Vijana is dedicated to support the full participation of youth in democratic processes in Tanzania. This does not end with championing the Youth Manifesto but also building the capacity of youth to observe elections, run for office, participate in regional decision making bodies and direct parliamentary engagement with elected leaders.

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