Youths Political and Election Participation Workshop for youth groups in Mogadishu was the first of its kind to be conducted in Mogadishu by a CSO (SOYDA). Somali youths are estimated to be 75% of the total Somali population, but have no voice and representation in the Somalia political and elections fora thus making the majority of the population (youths) to have no say in decision makings at national and local level reforms agenda, policy making, development prioritizations, state building, and the National Development Plan (NDP). Therefore, SOYDA has organized a three days workshop for 40 youths (20 F and 20 M) on political and election participations in order to equip them with the understanding and knowledge of democracy, inclusive politics, citizen rights and responsibilities and youths political and election participation rights with especial concern on the upcoming 2020/2021 general election.
The three days workshop was meant to sensitize the youths on their rights of political and election participation and prepare them before the anticipated one-man-one-vote elections in 2020/2021 come into place.
2. Objectives of the workshop
1) Sensitize Mogadishu youths on their rights of political and election participation
2) To establish a well-informed youths that can have a say in the national politics and election
3) Promote gender equality and inclusive political and election participation for Mogadishu youths
4) Strengthen youths knowledge and understanding on citizen rights and self responsibilities in an inclusive democracy
5) Develop space for youths debate on freedom of expression, countering online hate speech and political and election participation
6) Strengthen youths rights-share-holders and public office duty bearer’s engagements and collaborations on youths political and election participation
7) Promote youths led democracy through political and election participation.
8) Encourage and promote shared responsibilities among youths
3. Workshop methodology
• Participatory and inclusive discussions
• Panel discussions
• Group work
• Q and A
4. Workshop Target Participants
40 youths (20 girls and 20 boys) from Mogadishu capital city and its surrounding IDP camps have participated the workshop, the target youths were selected from different districts and IDP camps in Mogadishu, mostly the participants were members of youth organizations and networks.
5. Workshop content
The following topics were discussed during the three day workshop; –
Qualities of good citizen (self responsibility and common moral obligation).
Advantages of youths political and election participation
Gender equality in inclusive democracy
Principles and values of democracy
Debate on freedom of expression and countering online hate speech
Panel discussions on the roles of youths in state and sustainable peace building
Rights of good citizens in a democratic state
6. Workshop Program
The Workshop was officially opened by the SOYDA Program Officer, Mr. Mohamed Aden, who gave an overview of the workshop and explained the importance of the workshop in promoting youths political and election participation thus youths have the opportunity to participate in making of decisions that directly affects their ways of living. In his opening remarks, Mohamed emphasized the role of active youths in political and election participation which increase the role of youths in state and sustainable peace building in Mogadishu;
7. Workshop evaluation
By the end of the workshop, participants understanding of the contents and what they have learned was evaluated so us to measure the overall feedback and successful delivery of the workshop objectives and goals. The participants feedback from the evaluation were; –
• Active participation
• The participants requested for more similar workshops in Mogadishu
• Participants equally contributed to a heated debate on freedom of expression and preventing online hate speech
• Girls have showed their eagerness to participate and contribute ideas equally like boys throughout the workshop sessions