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Conscious Citizens
#WHYYOU Panel Discussion

Conscious Citizen is an independent youth platform co-founded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, Free Your Mind, and the Namibia Institute for Democracy. The collaboration aims to create platforms where the Namibian youth can engage on topics such as Democracy, Human Rights, Rule of Law and Sustainable Economic Development.

There is a general outcry among youths to voice out their concerns. Young people are not given a platform to engage and that politics is left to the older generation. What is further worrisome is the decreasing youth participation. It is against this background, that the Public Discussion under the hashtag WHYYOU sought to sensitize and cultivate a culture of participation among Namibians. The idea of election debate and discussion served a constructive purpose to prepare Namibian citizens to actively participate in the process of elections. It further cultivated a culture of making informed decisions among voters on who to vote for and why. The platform Identified major contributions that enable national reconstruction.  

Moreso, it disseminated political inclusion values, noting that it is ok to differ. Most important to note is the idea of providing a firsthand account of election Manifestos. The idea of learning to live together in political diversity is one of the greatest challenges that young people face in different African countries, Namibia is no exception. As reflected through the heated debate emotions grappled different participants. The moderators Emma Theofelus and Panduleni managed to control the discussion despite the differing views among the discussants. 

There was a general agreement on the need for One Namibia . This intervention was a call for political parties to understand that they are working for Namibians, political differences and diversity of opinion should not distract the agenda of one Namibia. It is very possible that a gathering of this nature would not spare SWAPO representation from facing criticism from the public. While some participants felt that a lot had been done in the past by SWAPO, today it’s no longer the case. Responding to these allegations, Sylas from SWAPO pinpointed out that criticism should be constructive and not attack the party representatives. The energies should be directed at discussing on what needs to be done, what alternative political parties should do to improve economic, social and political fabric of Namibia.