N$47 million allocated to encourage youth participation in elections

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

A total of N$48 million has been earmarked for the Lead Youth Ambassador (LYA) program, which falls under the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), to encourage young people to participate in elections.

The LYA program is an awareness campaign aimed at generating interest among young people to engage in the country’s electoral process.

This announcement was made last week by the speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi while explaining the allocation of over N$422 million for the ECN’s annual budget for the 2023/24 financial year.

Katjavivi said the LYA will employ around 200 Youth Ambassadors across the country hence the allocation of the N$48 million towards the program.

To ensure inclusivity and access to information, the speaker also announced that the ECN will provide information in various modes of communication to facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in the electoral process.

“Various channels of communication will be used, taking into consideration the communication needs of each target audience. To ensure inclusivity and access to information for all, information materials will be reproduced in accessible formats for persons with disabilities such as Braille, Audio and sign language,” he alluded.

Katjavivi further informed lawmakers that the ECN will require 1,500 vehicles for the General Registration of Voters and 2,500 vehicles for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections to successfully organise the 2024 national elections.

These vehicles will be used at various stages of the registration and polling process. Consequently, the Commission will need to hire vehicles from the government garage and the public to cover any potential shortage.

In addition, the ECN is expected to recruit, train, and deploy around 16,000 election officials, with an estimated cost of N$160 million, to conduct the general registration of voters and subsequent polling process.

The General Registration of Voters is scheduled to take place from June 3rd to August 1st, 2024, spanning 52 days as outlined in the Electoral Calendar. The Presidential and National Assembly elections are set for 27 November 2025.

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