Botswana National Youth Council, the institution responsible for youth empowerment, on Friday revealed that their pre-election youth education campaigns have paid dividends and resulted in an overwhelming number of youths registering to vote in this year’s general elections.
Prior to the general elections the BNYC embarked on political empowerment workshops targeted at the voting youth and those who intended to contest the 2009 general elections. The youth organization also encouraged the youth, as the leaders of tomorrow, to vote for the elections in large numbers. Topics that were covered in the campaign included the ‘art of campaigning, resource mobilization for electioneering, developmental approach and leadership and governance.
“Beginning this year we launched a 2009 Political Empowerment Program under which we hosted some activities aimed at encouraging the youth to vote in large numbers, and we are satisfied with the outcome. We also trained some youth candidates to prepare them for elections, and the outcome was very positive as some of them won parliamentary and council seats” said BNYC acting Executive Director Sewedi Proper Mokgadi.
He appealed to all parliamentary and council youth representatives, who benefited from the BNYC campaign to be the voice of youth regarding their needs, problems, and challenges, urging them not to forget that they are accountable to the people who voted them into office.
BNYC also congratulated the president on his inauguration and particularly thanked him for highlighting youth matters in his inaugural speech. Although admitting that the voting process went very slow, Mokgadi complemented the electoral officers and contradicted the opposition parties’ stance that the elections were not fair.
“Not many complaints were experienced and we are happy with the overall process, and credit should be given to the Independent Electoral Commission and other stakeholders,” he said.