The issues of youth participation in governance resonated at the 2023 National Youth Convention in Abuja, at the weekend, with calls for more young people to be involved in policy-making processes to reshape Nigeria’s trajectory.
The event was organised by the Youth Network for Community and Sustainable Development (YNCSD).
The organisation’s Head of Programme and Operations, Olachi Ojimadu, in her speech, stressed the urgency of youth participation in the nation’s governance system.
Ojimadu emphasised that the repositioning of Nigeria was dependent on collaborative efforts involving the nation’s youth, adding that the absence of youth’s input in policy formulation would perpetuate the creation of unfavourable laws and policies.
“We can only achieve a reinvigorated Nigeria through partnership. Excluding young people from policy discussions will result in policies that neglect the interests of the largest segment of our population, the youth,” she asserted.
Speaking about the event, Ojimadu expressed her satisfaction, saying: “The program was nothing short of fantastic. This Youth Network for Community and Sustainable Development event marked our youth convening in commemoration of International Youth Day.”
A board member of YNCSD, Rowland Ukwa, highlighted the organisation’s role in catalyzing social change by empowering youth to advocate for human rights.
The organisation engages in targeted advocacy, capacity building, communications, partnerships, and program implementation to amplify young voices.
Ukwa emphasised the organisation’s comprehensive approach, stating, “In addition to our focus on youth impact for sustainable development, we address issues concerning sexual and reproductive health and rights, governance, and the environment.
“The National Youth Convening, a flagship initiative by YNCSD, was designed to celebrate International Youth Day by fostering connections among young individuals and facilitating dialogues with policymakers and influential figures.”
The Team Lead for YGAT Fellowship and a direct beneficiary of the Programme, Zack Onwe, passionately expressed his sentiments.
The spotlight was on the “Youth Governance Accountability Track Project,” a comprehensive initiative aimed at amplifying the voices of young individuals in political discourse.
In his remarks, Onwe captured the essence of the event, labelling it as a profound experience marked by both enlightenment and engagement.
He said: “This Good Governance Accountability Sensitization Programme was an enlightening and remarkably engaging endeavor. It served as an invaluable source of enlightenment, casting light on the intricacies of good governance and our pivotal roles in the political landscape. As young people, it illuminated the pathways through which we can actively participate in shaping the future of our nation through political engagement.”