The Challenges and Opportunities Facing African Youth in the Advancement of Foreign Policy Interests in Africa- a Case of Kenya
MetadataShow full item record
Africa is considered a youthful continent whose youth population is on the rise compared to other regions of the world where this proportion has stagnated or is in decline (UN Economic Commission for Africa, 2017 and although this community constitutes a significant proportion essential for economic growth and development, the youth struggle to find relevance in a society that offers disappointing employment and life prospects, undermines their self-expression, and systematically marginalises its citizens (World Bank). Policies that address youth aspirations have mostly faltered. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially goal 10 crystallises the expectations of young Africans by advocating ‘social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status’ (UN - SDGs). The African Union’s Agenda 2063 also underscores the importance of ‘promoting rights of young people and meeting their needs in all their diversity’ (AU, 2006). This study focuses on establishing the knowledge gap within this constituency in an effort to unlock real and perceived stalemates surrounding the subject of youth and foreign policy development, analyses the role performed by youth in shaping foreign policy content, the challenges involved and interventions by youth in influencing policy decisions to assess their competence while comparing whether challenges and interventions are equally matched and effectively addressed. The study further explores prospects that can create meaningful transformations in the advancement of foreign policy as expressed by the youth. The study was guided by liberalism theory which supports individual rights, limited government, democracy, gender equality, freedom of the press, and the importance of domestic institutions and public opinion. The study utilized case study research design used both primary and secondary qualitative and quantitative data. Primary data was collected using questionnaires self-administered to secure the highest response rate attainable, save time, give the respondents and researcher a chance to freely interact, hence this made it possible to get more accurate information. The questionnaires were distributed to the most relevant respondents. The findings of this study among other insights established youth development, employment opportunities, scholarships and education as the main areas of importance for youth when it comes to foreign policy. The study identified a lack of knowledge in foreign policy among the youth as a major weakness that can also be attributed to their exclusion. The study also established that diplomatic engagements by top government officials should aim to promote the unique value proposition of the youth in the country, leveraging this as an advantage to negotiate better bilateral deals. The study thus recommends an analysis of foreign polices using relevant indicators to confirm alignment to overall youth development objectives and in building validation process that test foreign policy moves for harmony with youth development goals before mainstreaming. Impact assessment should also be conducted to take stock of policy achievements or shortcomings. In addition, the Ministry of Foreign affairs risks being branded an elite department disconnected from the public and especially the youth. In order to demystify their role and also interact with youth and the general public, this study recommends special focus days to bridge the gap.
University of Nairobi
SubjectThe Challenges and Opportunities Facing African Youth in the Advancement of Foreign Policy Interests in Africa- a Case of Kenya
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
The following license files are associated with this item: