Westminster Foundation for Democracy in partnership with the international offices of the UK Labour and Conservative parties, is increasing the participation and representation of young people in politics in Nigeria through a three-year Youth Empowerment Programme (2016-2018).
In Nigeria, 18 to 35-year-olds make up over 60% of the population but constitute only 0.03% of elected representatives in the Senate, House of Representatives and National Assembly because of constitutional barriers that block them from participating until they are over 35 years-old. Nigerian political party youth wings are also weak which limits the emergence of young leaders.
Working with civil society organisations like the Youth Initiative for Advocacy and Growth Advancement (YIAGA) the programme shows young people how they can support campaigns that advocate for greater youth participation and engage with political institutions. WFD and the UK political parties will share a range of experiences on youth participation from the UK and other countries where WFD works.
The combination of grassroots campaigning and high-level advocacy will help address the low levels of youth participation and representation in Nigeria by encouraging more youth-led policy initiatives and better inter-generational partnerships.
Funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), WFD is a member of the consortium implementing the flagship, five-year Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme. Working at the national level and in the 3 States of Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna, WFD is supporting constituencies to influence governments about the services they receive and any policies related to them.
To achieve this, WFD will support the use of evidence-based research for policy recommendations related to the budget process in the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly in Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna).
Facilitated exchange of ideas and networking between youth-focused organisations in Nigeria and their colleagues in UK
Five year action plan developed with Young Parliamentarian Forum to put youth issues at the heart of the political debate
Youth Empowerment Programme
Planned end: March 2018