The meaningful participation of young people in decision making for sustainable development and good governance has been constrained across East Africa, often because of a lack of concerted efforts and platforms to include young people in the democratic space(s).
To address the youth inclusion gap, WFD is implementing the East African Commonwealth Youth Leaders Initiative to promote the ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) and provide a platform for young leaders in East Africa to openly debate on critical issues related to youth and governance challenges.
ACDEG is a unifying instrument whose principles, core values and objectives can be used to encourage East African governments to concretely commit to promoting youth participation in democratic processes. Uganda is one of 19 countries that have signed but not ratified the charter, which in turn is affecting the promotion of effective participation of young people in governance spaces.
As a move towards promoting the ratification of the Charter, three East African youth chapters have been formed in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to bring together young leaders from youth stakeholder groups in each country, to champion the move towards having ACDEG ratified and domesticated.
With the formation of the chapters, youth leaders under the Uganda chapter have lobbied and presented a petition to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and the Leader of Opposition (LOP) to fast track the ratification of the charter. The Leader of Opposition committed to draft a motion on the charter to be presented on the floor of parliament before the speaker.
During the second National Youth Moot Parliamentary session in August 2019, youth leaders under the Uganda chapter presented another petition to the speaker with one of the key prayers being the ratification and domestication of the charter by Uganda. The speaker consequently added the prayer to the order paper and asked the Prime Minister to fast track efforts to ratify and domesticate the charter.
“The young people of Uganda have raised a concern on the ratification of the charter and are asking the government why it has not been ratified. If the Prime Minister made a commitment, then it must be ratified.”
Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of the parliament of Uganda