Youth engagement is becoming increasingly important in Tanzania, a country with one of the fastest growing youth populations in the world. Currently, an estimated 61 percent of the population is under the age of 35, making up a clear majority. Despite this, a recent study by the Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD) found that only 23 percent of council positions at the local level were contested by young people in the 2020 general elections.
A growing number of authoritarian powers have weaponized corruption and information operations to influence elections, policymaking and civic discourse in other countries to benefit their political or geostrategic objectives. From Moldova to Myanmar, interference and disinformation in elections and national politics have become the rule rather than the exception.
Ana Usharek, or “I Participate,” is an umbrella suite of programming that provides young Jordanians and marginalized groups with knowledge and skills to be more active in Jordanian civil and political life.
In November 2020, Zambia made headlines when it became the first African nation to default on its debt repayment to foreign lenders during the COVID-19 global health crisis. While many African nations made significant progress in reducing their debt burdens in the 1990s and 2000s, in recent years, countries such as Zambia, Kenya and Mozambique have steadily taken on more and more loans to finance large infrastructure projects and government spending. In 2021, Zambia’s overall debt burden reached 123% of the country’s GDP according to the International Monetary Fund.
Africa’s young people are a strong political force, as demonstrated by a rise in social movements and political protests across the continent, such as the movement for democracy and term limits in Uganda, the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria, and demonstrations protesting the military coup in Sudan. However, young people continue to be excluded from decision-making. The erosion of the rule of law across the continent, exemplified by attempts to amend or eliminate presidential term limits, will undoubtedly have the largest impact on the current generation.
Africa has seen significant democratic backsliding in recent years, driven in large part by leaders who undermine constitutional norms, bypass presidential term limits, and shrink political space to gain or maintain power. To stimulate a discussion on how to reverse this trend, NDI partnered with the Government of Botswana to organize an Africa-wide Summit on Constitutionalism and Democratic Consolidation, in Gaborone from July 6 to 8, 2022.