Legislative youth engagement platforms must be adopted

Martin Endjala

The National Assembly speaker Prof. Peter Katjavivi encourages member’s state to adopt platforms that will engage young people on issues and legislations. He made this suggestions during an engagement with the Governing councils (GC) at the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Bali, Indonesia on matters of young parliamentary forum on Saturday 26th March 2022.

Katjavivi stated that Namibia has adopted such platforms that engages youth and adolescence in its programs which are aimed at instilling the culture of democracy and their inputs go a long way in informing the government on matters concerning young people.

He made this response in support of the youth parliamentary forum report. Pointing out that the IPU might consider the possibility to encourage member parliaments to establish a platform to engage secondary school level of young people on issues and legislations Katjavivi suggested.

The experience of Namibia is very inspiring in having a parliament for young people is very essential and I needed by different countries and we will definitely try to consider it. These were the suggestions of the youth parliamentarian MP in agreement to the speaker’s suggestion.

The IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said, rejuvenating young parliamentarian processes at national and international levels remains IPU’s main aim. Chungong acknowledged the good work done by the Namibian parliament in having youth representation within its parliament.

“I would like to congratulate him on their forward looking policies when it comes to promotion of youth. Namibia has some of the youngest MP’s in the world today and also a children parliament, and this are examples of good practice that we would like to share with all the parliaments around the world in support of the recommendations made by the speaker of Namibia”, he lamented.

The IPU assembly is a global organization of parliaments that brings lawmakers together and identify international challenges and make recommendations for action.

Henning Melber a political analyst, cautioned Namibian parliamentarians not to be easily persuaded in wanting to share its policies with other countries, opining that, not every country in the world will willy-nilly adopt any countries policies but they will rather do what is in the best interest of their own people.

Emphasizing that at times during critical issues, they are not considered.

Melber made this skepticisms today in a conversation with Windhoek Observer when asked what this means for Namibia and its well renowned emulated young parliamentarian representation?

What are the gains for the countries, except a public relations exercise? And if the IPU would be critical of some policies in Namibia, would then the government be willing to listen? Melber questioned.

“Often, such gatherings are only considered as relevant for a country, if they make statements which boost the image of a country, but are dismissed as irrelevant (or ignored) when charring critical observations” he warned.



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