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South Africa: Youth Summit to Enhance Electoral Democracy
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 28, 2014

“It will also be used as a springboard for creating recurring engagements and lasting relations with representatives of youth organisations, including Institutions of Higher Learning,” the IEC said in a statement.
The objectives of the summit include:
• Establishing a platform on which youth can discuss “effective participation in electoral democracy” and set goals towards the 2016 Local Government Elections;
• Establishing a platform for on-going interaction and engagement with the youth;
• Promoting knowledge and understanding of electoral democracy and the elections process;
• Encouraging critical thought on matters affecting the youth in relation to electoral democracy, therefore encouraging responsible citizenship; and
• Promoting electoral participation and an informed electorate.
The summit will begin by reflecting on how far electoral democracy has come in the past twenty years. A large portion of the summit will deliberate on the modalities of “effective youth participation” in the processes of electoral democracy.
The IEC said thousands of young people from around the country will also get an opportunity to participate in the summit virtually through a live webcast and interactive facility hosted on the IEC website.
In the run up to the 2009 National and Provincial Elections, a similar youth summit was held in Midrand. It focussed on the role of the youth in electoral democracy in South Africa.
Electoral Commission spokesperson Kate Bapela noted that since then, a number of engagements with the youth (both formal and informal) have taken place.
“Some of the important discussions have been about how the Electoral Commission ensures that first time voters are taught the important values of the Constitution in relation to electoral democracy and promotion of responsible citizenship among the youth,” Bapela said.
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