The theme of this years International Youth Day is “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.
According to https://www.un.org/en/, the theme seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
With only 10 years remaining to make the Vision 2030 Agenda a reality for all, trust in public institutions is fast eroding.
In Kenya, many Kenyans do not believe anti-corruption agencies such as EACC, DCI and ODPP are committed to fighting the wanton theft of public money, at least not nabbing the so called ‘big fish’.
The world is still grappling with finding solutions to crises such as the the Syria crisis, the Rohingya refugees crisis,climate change in Myanmar as well as the most recent global pandemic- COVID-19.
How youths can come in in this crises
When mechanisms are put in place that enable the engagement of youth in formal political systems, it increases the fairness of political processes by reducing democratic deficits as well as contributing to better and and more sustainable policies.
Engaging the youth in formal political mechanisms can play a big role in restoring trust in public institutions.
Moreover, CS Mutahi Kagwe recently acknowledged the fact that the challenges humanity is currently facing such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change requires the participation of young people to be addressed effectively.
This year’s International Youth Day seeks to put the spotlight on youth engagement through the following three interconnected streams:
1. Engagement at the local/community level;
2. Engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation); and,
3. Engagement at the global level.