Engaging young people in politics is critical to the safeguarding and strengthening of democracy worldwide. With an estimated 1.2 billion people aged 15–24 on the planet, justice and democratic legitimacy demand more than a token youth presence in parliament. People between the ages of 20 and 44 make up 57 per cent of the world’s voting age population but only 26 per cent of the world’s MPs. In addition, the presence of young people in political positions can change attitudes, eroding stereotypes about readiness or fitness to lead, while also encouraging young people to see politics as an arena open to their participation.
- Youth applicants between the ages of 18-35 are welcome to participate.
- Applicants should submit a 300-word abstract on the theme “Youth in political decision-making in Africa” by 27 February 2017.
- Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a preliminary training and assessment session on 13 March. Applicants located outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will be interviewed via Skype.
- The organizers will announce the teams on 20 March and preparations for the debate will be held on 21 March.
- The final debate will be held on 31 March in Addis Ababa (location TBD).
After the preliminary training and assessment session on 13 March, each team, consisting of three individuals, will answer two essay questions based on a set of thematic questions or a case study; one supporting the topic and the other against. Each team will be assigned to a supervisor who will support the team on basic structure and formatting. The teams will debate one side of the argument based on their submitted essays and through the use of other sources of information. The floor will then open for a Q&A session for further discussion and clarification. After examining the essays and verbal arguments, independent evaluators will grade each team and announce the final winner.
- The winning team will have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa on 22-23 April 2017 (Accommodation and flights to Bahir Dar, Ethiopia will be covered).
- They will also have the opportunity to publish their essay in the upcoming AfSol (African Solutions) book series, IPSS website as well as other IPSS web platforms.
- A certificate of participation on behalf of the IPSS Alumni Network will be given to all participants.
For questions and to submit abstracts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to download more on the application process.