On the 27th of February 2020 Namibia Institute for Democracy hosted a public discussion forum at the Community Arts Centre in Katutura, which enabled the public to engage with influential guest speakers mainly: Rakkel Andreas (Socio-Political Commentator) and Pius IIkwambi (Member of “Young Achievers”).
The purpose of this event was to discuss and identify youth participation in politics and comment on it while coming up with realistic solutions that any plain Joe can do in order to better the current state of society.
The discussion was coordinated in such a way that the speakers would have a dialogue, from that dialogue a question would stem and then that question would be referred back to the audience. Based off how they respond will determine in which direction the conversation would flow. The discussion was opened up with a general question: “What is Democracy?” and that question was directed to the audience, the event was set up in such a way that made it possible to have a direct conversation with the guest speakers and by doing so it enabled the speakers to answer questions without confusion or miscommunication. The next question that set the tone for the discussion was “Who is the Youth?”, after listening to the various responses from the audience Rakkel Andreas used the description that Youth should be considered when you are at the utmost peak of your life. And that description was used to carry the discussion throughout.
Throughout the discussion different comparisons were brought up, such as how unfair it is for the government to conclude that the youth is being radical therefore posing a threat, she also refers back to how in the past the political leaders were at that same age/peak when they fought for our independence. The point emphasised was; who are the youth a threat to and she explained that the youth is a threat not to any political leader or the president, but a threat to corruption, deteriorating health facilities, lack of proper education infrastructure just to name a few. Pius Iikwambi also highlight that before any radical steps can be implemented or any force imposed, that citizens have the option of taking back what is theirs in a legal and affective manner.
Namibia Institute for Democracy saw that there was a great deal of misinformation spreading that not only created confusion but fuelled the fire of dissatisfaction amongst the Namibian citizens, therefore they created a platform where an open discussion can take place. The aim of this discussion was to have everyone, and anyone’s question answered from someone that is well informed. Another goal was to make sure everyone knew about what is happening in around them as well as the significance of this events. In essence this discussion is just one of many that will continue to take place.
Written by: McElory Maletsky (HSF Intern)