Youth and Politics

The youth in Kenya make up at least 75% of the country’s population, a number that is not reflected in representation in elective positions. From the last general election, young people elected in parliament are only a paltry 6.5%. This is so even though many young women and men are actively involved politically in universities but remain largely disillusioned with the same political leadership at the national level.

Despite being more active than their elders in political protests, young people are often less engaged in the overall political processes across the continent. Yet by refusing to hold political office, young people appear to be denying themselves opportunities to participate in policy making and changing the laws. Election cycle after another more than 90% of eligible youth vote but only less than 40% of them offer themselves for elective office.

Why is it so?

Reasons for this anomaly range from a general disinterest in politics by many young people, slim youth membership in political parties, the seemingly undemocratic nature of party primaries and under-representation of youth in party decisions. Others are limited support in capacity and resources, and preference of seasoned politicians by political parties. For some young women and men however, it is the plain lack of awareness of what it means to run for office coupled with the fear of wading into unchartered waters, and especially without a strong support system and purposeful mentorship.

It is these specific challenges that young people face that The Good Politician is here to address, shove off the way and level the playing field by equipping interested young women and men to effectively position themselves, run efficient campaigns and hopefully get elected.

The Good Politician

The Good Politician project* is a political leadership development program ahead of the 2022 elections in Kenya. The project will serve as the foundation on which ELF-Africa will invest in nurturing a cadre of principled young politicians who embody values-based leadership, moral courage, and imagination in their pursuit to make democracy work in Kenya.

Starting with the Member of County Assembly position, ELF-Africa will empower emerging youth politicians to strategically position themselves and prepare to vie in the 2022 elections. The one-year executive program hopes to find young political aspirants who are already present and serving in the field; have a strong commitment to serve all; and have deep local political knowledge and insight. The cohort will be mostly composed of those who have clear electoral aspirations at the ward level. This group of leaders will come from three counties: – Uasin Gishu, Makueni & Murang’a. The program will also ensure gender diversity and inclusion of PWDs.

Eligibility Criteria

1. Must be a Kenyan citizen
2. Must be aged 18-35 years
3. Shall not be a currently elected MCA. Nominated MCAs are eligible
4. The applicant must meet the basic legal, constitutional, and academic qualification/requirements to vie for the position of MCA
5. Applicant must reside in a geographic location with stable internet connectivity
6. Applicant must be able to commit the entire program including online workshops till the end of the project.

Application

To apply for The Good Politician please complete this application form https://forms.gle/Pa2jD5R95d2wY1a38

Applications close on 29th September 2021.

For inquiries, write to info@elfafrica.org

*The Good Politician Project was inspired by Indian School of Democracy.