Barriers to youth political participation in Mogadishu, Somalia

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Kampala International University, College of Humanities and social Science
The aim of this study was to investigate barriers to Youth political participation in Mogadishu, Somalia through three specific objectives to: find out how social barriers influence youth participation in the politics of Mogadishu, Somalia. To examine how economic barriers influence youth participation in the politics of Mogadishu Somalia, to assess how institutional barriers influence youth participation in Mogadishu, Somalia. This was carried out using interpretivist (qualitative) approaches based on desk research and interviews. The sample of the study was drawn on Robinson’s guideline of 3 to 16 participants for a single study, with the lower end of that spectrum suggested for undergraduate projects and the upper end for larger-scale funded projects. The study reports three key findings. First, Mogadishu youth participate in politics through both conventional and no institutionalized forms. Online participation is increasingly gaining prominence. Second, a major barrier to youth political participation in Mogadishu arises from institutional structures which by their very bureaucratic nature are too formalistic to allow free expression. Coupled with this are the conditions by the donors who design and fund these institutions. Donors provide a predetermined framework within which youth participate. Third, while several interventions to foster youth political participation in Mogadishu exist, the outcomes are minimal. The study concludes that barriers to effective youth participation in Mogadishu are systemic and structural issues at play, rather than the fiat of individual political actors. Current youth participation institutional structures and agendas are chiefly about controlling youth, rather than generating participatory democracy, hence participation policies sustain rather than remove elitism. The study recommends that FGS and donors should reposition their preference for formal institutional participation mechanisms to local and culturally purposeful modes of participation. Expanding and deepening the growing vibrant e- participation between government and both youth-serving and youth-led community-based organizations will provide the groundwork for both inclusion and recognition
A research dissertation submitted to college of humanities and social sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts in public administration of Kampala International University
Youth, Political participation, Somalia