The Centre for Multiparty Democracy is in partnership with the SF and Venstre to implement a project that aims at strengthening youth involvement in political parties in Malawi. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the development of a political culture based on democratic dialogue in and between political parties, increasing inclusion of members and involvement of young people in the development of issue-based policies.
The project aims at assisting political parties in Malawi to take some steps to ensure that: a) Youth are better represented in the decision making structures of political parties; b) Youth are more visible, playing a meaningful role in politics and promote youth policies and plans for the implementation of the Malawian National Youth Policy of 2013; c) Youth in politics are able to influence the policy direction within their political parties.
By the end, the project expects to achieve the following results: a)Young members of the political parties in Malawi have been empowered to get involved in their parties; b)Political parties in Malawi have a plan for the formulation of involving young members in external oriented issue-based youth policy and/or policy on how the Malawian National Youth Policy of 2013 should be implemented; c)Political parties in Malawi have taken first steps to develop internal strategy and/or organisational structures to ensure increased democratic involvement of young people in the parties.
In order to kick start the project and partnership, the SFU and the VU in consultation with the CMD organized a visit to Malawi. The visitors were Bent Nicolajsen, Project Manager for Danish Liberal Democratic Party, Kristian Lausten, Danish Liberal Youth, and Anja Sondergaard, Left Green Youth. The key objectives of the visit were a) to launch the partnership and plan the implementation of the activities, b)to contribute to some of the project activities, c)to prepare the delegation going to Denmark in September and to agree on project management issues including financial issues. Among other activities during the visit, two workshops were conducted at Mangochi Sun n Sand Holiday Resort on the 7th and 8th of June.
The first workshop on 7 June involved political party Secretaries General, Directors of Women and a representative from the Young Politicians Union. The workshop discussed challenges, advantages and risks of youth involvement. The objectives of this workshop were to introduce the project and establish a baseline of the situation of party youth wings in Malawi.
On 8 June, there was a joint training of young members from the five parties represented in parliament (AFORD, DPP, MCP, PP, UDF) and the two young politicians from Denmark on party systems and politics, roles and responsibilities in political party participation and possible structures for youth involvement. The objectives of this workshop were to orient the youth from political parties in Malawi on the broad question on participation, to discuss different models of participation and youth party structures and to familiarize the youth on how to build youth party structures. This was a good platform for the youth in Malawi and Denmark to learn from each other’s experiences. The learning process will continue during the study tour in September when the young politicians from Malawi are expected to go to Denmark.