The youth program is one of YIAGA’s major program areas. The focus on youth is informed by ourstrong desire to harness the potentials of Africa’s largest demographic block for democratic development and social change. YIAGA firmly believes young people possess the skill, intellect, resilience and energy needed to solve Africa’s governance and development challenges. To this end, we are driven by the desire to mobilize and empower young people with the requisite skills and knowledge that makes them agents of change in their community. YIAGA adopts 18 – 35 as the age threshold for youth. This strategy priorities specific target youth groups. They include; female youth, youth with disabilities, rural youth, out of school youth, unemployed youth, youth in conflict, illiterate youth and youth in diaspora.

One parameter for assessing the quality of democracy is the level of vertical and horizontal accountability in the civic space. Public officials and institutions are under an obligation to account for all actions and decisions.In the same vein, citizens’ are duty bound to hold their leaders to account.This relationship enhances openness and public integrity in all ramifications. This program is predicated on the firm belief that accountability and justice are key principles in deepening democratic development.

Certain changes are bound to occur as a nation evolves in its journey to nationhood. One of such changes is exemplified with periodic reviews of existing laws such as the Constitution to reflect the norms and values of the people. As a political and legal document, the Constitution establishes the foundation upon which a society is governed. However, most post-colonial African states fail to respect the philosophy that permeates a Constitution. This is exacerbated with the low civic awareness on the Constitution. Building strong constitutions requires inclusive participation of all citizens irrespective of age, tribe, gender, disability etc. This program is design to support constitution-building processes that strengthens democratic ethos, rule of law, political stability andnational cohesion.

The legislature is not only a symbol of democracy but also the participatory hub of popular participation. As an arm of government, the legislature avails citizens the opportunity to participate in law making and oversight of the other arms of government. This enhances accountability in public governance. This program is conceptualized as a strategy of enhancing legislative accountability through effective citizens participation in legislative processes. The program recognizes the critical role of legislators in governance and nation building hence the initiative to provide strategic support to enhance their performance. Furthermore, this program targets citizens’ engagement with elected representatives in legislative arm of government at the local, state and national level.

One feature that distinguishes democracy from other forms of government is the conduct of periodic free and fair elections. Elections are critical to the survival of democracy because they avail citizens the opportunity to exercise their franchise and participate in shaping how their society is governed. Political leaders are recruited through elections hence the need to ensure citizen’s vigilance and engagement in the electoral process. The election program is structured in line with the electoral cycle.

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    Elections are very critical to the sustenance of any democracy because they give voters the opportunity to select those who will preside over their affairs. Since 2011, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) has been involved in election observation in Nigeria. YIAGA’s Programs Manager, Cynthia Mbamalu says the organization’s involvement in election observation is recognition that election is not just a political process but a matter of […]

If young people can vote, why can't they be voted for?

— Hon. Ralphael Igbokwe

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How youths engaged the 2015 elections

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