Youth and Election
Young people make up about 60% of Africa’s population (UN Youth 2010) and about 58% of Ghana’s voting population in election 2008 if the age ceiling of youth is defined by the African Youth Charter’s definition of 35years. Projections are that the youth aged 18 to 35 years will constitute over 65% of the 2012 voting populations. Regrettably, political parties, electoral agents and experts confound the populace and particularly the youth with insider vocabulary that can be confusing during political deliberations in election year.
Ghanaian youth understanding of electoral issues, awareness of planned programme of activities, the appreciation of non-violent participation and subsequent implications of a peaceful and democratic election on the present and future development of the Ghanaian youth is limited. Not only has the foregoing limitations lingered around the Ghanaian youth for years now, but the continued absence of coordinated youth-focused educational programmes to decode election debates and sensitize them on non-violent participation leaves much to be desired of.
Further, much of the setbacks to a smooth democratic process is caused by violent outbursts by youth from the warring political parties. The irony here is that they always claim to be fighting in the name of democracy.