Young parliamentarians gather at Convergence 5.0 organised by Yiaga Africa to discuss the importance of good governance, legislative growth, and youth political representation in Nigeria.
The Young Parliamentarians, both at the National and State Houses of Assembly, made a resolute promise to champion laws that will lead to the effective governance of Nigeria.
This commitment was voiced at the Convergence 5.0 event, a program organized by Yiaga Africa with the support of the European Union (EU).
The convergence served as a platform for young legislators to enhance their knowledge and skills, fostering their contributions to the growth and development of the nation.
Commitment To Good Governance
Mr. Kabir Tukura, a Member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Young Parliamentarians Forum, expressed his determination to make significant contributions to Nigeria’s progress. He commended Yiaga Africa for their initiative in equipping young legislators with the necessary skills for effective governance. Tukura emphasized the forum’s dedication to deepening democracy and making a lasting impact through legislative endeavors.
Empowering Young Parliamentarians
Tukura encouraged fellow young parliamentarians to remain focused and eager to learn. He credited Yiaga Africa for equipping him with legislative knowledge and skills, including the art of presenting motions in the House. Convergence 5.0 proved to be a valuable source of expertise, enriching the understanding and capabilities of young legislators.
The Significance Of Convergence 5.0
Cynthia Mbamalu, Director of Programmes at Yiaga Africa, highlighted the importance of Convergence 5.0 as the largest gathering of young legislators in Nigeria. The event aimed to facilitate learning from seasoned experts in the field, enabling young representatives to effectively lead their constituencies. Additionally, it served as a platform for young politicians to navigate the intricate world of power politics within the National and State Assemblies, emphasizing the theme of leadership and political dynamics.
Progress And Challenges In Youth Political Representation
Although the enactment of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law in 2019 raised hopes for increased youth political participation, progress has been relatively slow. The House of Representatives experienced a significant increase in the number of young representatives, with 13 elected in 2019, compared to previous years. Similarly, the State Assemblies welcomed 20 young representatives under the age of 30 in the same year, along with two women under 35.
However, the 2023 elections did not yield the expected improvement. Nevertheless, notable achievements were still present. For the first time since the country’s transition to democracy in 1999, the House of Representatives boasts two lawmakers aged between 25 and 29, marking a positive step forward. Nonetheless, with only 14 representatives under 35 years old in the House, and 92 at the state level, there remains room for further enhancement. Furthermore, female representation among young lawmakers remains inadequate, with only four women under 35 years old holding seats.
Promoting Women’s And Youth Political Representation
Cynthia Mbamalu urged young parliamentarians to champion legislative efforts aimed at increasing political representation for both women and the youth in Nigeria. By supporting such initiatives, the progress made so far can be consolidated, ultimately curbing the trend of migration and brain drain. Efforts to create a more inclusive political landscape will foster development and strengthen democracy.
Youth Inclusion For Development
Samuela Isopi, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, emphasized the importance of including young people in the electoral process and as political representatives.