Our Democracy and Governance programme works towards enhancing effective youth participation in the promotion of good governance and democracy in Kenya and across East Africa. The programme components include:
AYT has been enhancing youth participation in the promotion and practice of democracy and human rights in the East Africa Community. We also work towards promoting youth engagement for sustainable EAC Integration and championed the development of the East Africa Youth Policy which was subsequently adopted by the EAC in 2013.
AYT also works towards democratizing the Development Effectiveness agenda and create an enabling environment for marginalized and vulnerable groups with specific focus on youth and children. Development Effectiveness refers to the shift in global thinking towards quantified and enhanced results of funding for development. Flowing on from Aid Effectiveness which looks at how aid for development is utilized to realize economic and social (human) development targets, Development Effectiveness relies on various actors from both donor and developing country communities to ensure that development work leads to tangible and sustained improvement of people’s lives. These actors are governments, the private sector and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who work either independently or in partnerships such as the south-to-south partnership scheme.
Development Effectiveness is of particular importance to Africa as although the continent has been largely aid dependent for decades, over half a century of this reliance has failed to translate into serious sustainable development for the people. The signing and adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 by 189 countries from around the world signalled international ambition to make aid relevant to development. The Monterrey Consensus of 2002 stressed the need to mobilize financial resources more efficiently. The Joint Marrakesh Memorandum of 2004 indicated a renewed emphasis on making aid effective and was reinforced by the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness of 2005. In 2008, government ministers from developing and donor countries, along with heads of multi-lateral and bi-lateral development institutions, endorsed the Accra Agenda for Action to accelerate and deepen implementation of the Paris Declaration. In 2013, African Union Heads of States adopted AU Agenda 2063 that seeks to build on the progress of African states and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the immediate and medium term, so as to ensure positive socioeconomic transformation within the next 50 years.
Most recently, the world has signed on to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unlike their predecessor the MDGs, the SDGs are people-centred and people driven, having been developed in several countries and widely discussed at all levels. They take as one of their core audiences the youth who in Africa are expected to be the biggest drivers of development due to their sheer numbers.
Aged between 15 and 35 years, African youth largely continue to grapple with social, economic and political exclusion. This is against a backdrop of poverty, shaky governance at local and national levels, increasing economic upheaval and the continent’s proclivity to armed conflict. As a result Africa’s youth are caught between revolving doors jammed by unfulfilled expectation.
This situation if not handled correctly has the potential to lead to a compounding of the problems the continent currently faces. One such problem is radicalisation of youth into violent extremism and deploying violence as a means of expression in society. When youth feel that existing power structures marginalize them, violence provides an opportunity to have a voice. However if youth are treated as potential assets, if they are included in the implementation of plans and policies that define the continents future, they are more likely to support positive ideologies and lead to sustainable development.
Africa Youth Trust notes that effective development can only be attained if interventions are inclusive and seek to address the causes and symptoms of underdevelopment as felt by the populations. The proposed project therefore seeks to create a link between ongoing development processes and the young men and women living in East, South and Central Africa.
AYT conducts civic education and awareness targeting the youth around pertinent issues of governance and civic importance. We have conducted civic education on the Constitution of Kenya, Voter Education on Elections, and The Kenya National Youth Council Election Guidelines within the 47 Counties in Kenya.
Among the partners who have supported this initiative are USAID through ACT Kenya, URAIA, Amkeni Wakenya, the former Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs in Kenya and Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution.
AYT is keen on monitoring the implementation of policies that address issues of youth. Among the key policies of interest are those that focus on addressing youth unemployment, youth affirmative action and public participation. We also empower the youth to understand and monitor public sector reforms.
In 2011 we spearheaded a study on the status of implementation of reforms targeting the youth under the issue on unemployment under Agenda 4 of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act (NARA). We further published a Youth Score Card on Constituency Youth Empowerment Centres which were to be established as one of the six targets under the unemployment issue in Agenda 4 of NARA We have also been engaged in the monitoring of the Kenyan Government process of reforming the public procurement system and improving health services delivery and published a score cards on the state of service delivery and public procurement reforms respectively of Health institutions and local authorities in Ole Nguruoni- Nakuru County, Mwingi Kitui county and Dagoretti- Nairobi County.
AYT provides Kenyan youth with a mechanism to directly engage Kenya’s National Assembly in the law making process through the relevant parliamentary departmental committees and the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association (KYPA). AYT also works with other non-state actors convened under the Parliamentary Initiatives Network (PIN) to promote the formulation of citizen-friendly laws by parliament. AYT serves as the prime informant on youth issues in the network.
AYT actively engages the Youth in advocacy and championing for effective service delivery and reform of weak institutions. We have built the capacity of youth to engage in the fight against corruption by publishing a Guide to Youth Action against Corruption, training youth on how to apply the guide and further engaged youth in conducting anti-corruption audits of the elements of the Kenya National Integrity System.
AYT considers the equipping of Kenya’s youth with the necessary knowledge and information about the tenets and process of policy making and accountability promotion as an important element in enhancing youth action in building a better Kenya. AYT continues in this endeavour aimed at enhancing youth practice and understanding in policy making and accountability promotion by disseminating the Action Guide on Youth Engagement in Public Policy Making and the Promotion of Accountability
AYT to represent interests of the youth in the HLM2 meeting of the Global partnership towards Inclusive and Accelerated Implementation of the 2030 Agenda
AYT through its SheCAN school clubs held an inter-schools debate in Mukuru. The students debated on a wide range of themes related to the Safety and Security of women and girls in public spaces as well as School related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV)