Frédéric Soltan

Hoe verhelpen we de politieke apathie bij de jeugd?

NAIROBI – Toen de lidstaten van de Verenigde Naties twee jaar geleden de Sustainable Development Goals aannamen engageerden ze zichzelf eraan ‘het deel van de jeugd dat geen werk heeft, niet naar school gaat of een opleiding volgt’ substantieel te verminderen. Het zal vrijwel onmogelijk zijn om aan dit engagement te voldoen tenzij de politieke participatie door jonge mensen aanzienlijk toe zal nemen.

Jongeren zijn cruciaal voor vooruitgang. Zoals Amerikaans president Barack Obama het in 2015 in een toespraak in Nairobi stelde ‘kan geen enkel land zijn volle potentieel bereiken zonder gebruik te maken van de talenten van zijn gehele bevolking.’ En de jeugd maakt een groot deel uit van die bevolking – 18% van de wereldbevolking om precies te zijn. En dit aandeel is in de ontwikkelingswereld zelfs nog groter. De gemiddelde leeftijd van de Afrikaanse bevolking is slechts 19,5 jaar.

Gegeven hun aantallen kunnen jongeren, hun stijgende niveaus van scholing en alfabetisering  nog geheel daargelaten, een wereld van verschil maken door het politieke discours en verkiezingsuitslagen vorm te geven. Maar dat vereist wel van ze dat ze geëngageerd en actief zijn.

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