Young cadres representing different political parties from African countries and beyond on Sunday concluded a three-day meeting in Kigali during which they discussed inclusive democratic governance.
The Summer School for the Youth Cadres of Political Parties was organised by the National Consultative Forum for Political Organisations (NFPO), in partnership with International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
The meeting sought to equip the youth with skills to champion sustainable development in their respective countries once they get into positions of leadership.
Addressing the participants, Madina Ndangiza, the NFPO deputy spokesperson, said there is need to engage the youth, irrespective of their political leaning, in inclusive democratic governance if the continent and the world in general are to have better future leaders.
After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, she said, Rwanda opted to focus its politics toward inclusive democracy and power sharing.
“This political option remains the foundation of governance, which is the basis for Rwanda’s national cohesion and unity as well as development,” she said.
Ndangiza urged political parties from various countries to involve the youth in sensitisation and activities in the field and hailed the first action of joint partnership with IDEA.
She said the meeting was an opportunity to discuss issues that affect democratic governance and help the youth to become better future leaders.
The youth political leadership academy started in 2011 and it has trained over 1,000 young Rwandans in democratic governance, public policies and political communication, according to Oswald Burasanzwe, NFPO executive secretary.
Burasanzwe said the idea is to keep training more youth and involving them in good governance.
Dr Awer Mawien, deputy speaker of the National Assembly of South Sudan, said: “We will be having common understanding as African countries toward how to participate more in political parties and in political arena, the youth need to be empowered to be fully involved and have impact in democratic governance as future leaders.”
Jean Damascene Ndabirora, 25, the vice president of the youth league of Liberal Party (Rwanda), said that while there is a political will for some countries to help the youth in democratic governance, there are still issues of not involving it in decision making and problem solving.
Participants were drawn from Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Haiti, France, Nepal and hosts Rwanda.