The impact of youth participation in local elections and youth empowerment in Makueni District, Kenya

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences
This study on assessing the Impact of Youth Participation in Local Elections was carried out among the youth in Makueni district and was aimed at; examining the level of youth participation, their attitude, challenges and available opportunities to improve youth participation. To figure out this problem of the study, the researcher carried out documentary reviewing on the literature on the election process as provided from different authors. The study employed a descriptive exploratory design based on qualitative and quantitative approaches and the researcher obtained data on the variables through use of a questionnaire and interview guide as research instruments. The study findings revealed that; youth in Makueni district participate in the election process by undergoing political reforms to impose demands on government, participating freely in local elections and voting, move freely from one party to another; take up seats reserved to promote youth involvement and enjoy open consultation and interaction with local leaders. The study findings further revealed that the attitude of the youth about their right to vote or be voted in Makueni district is such that, they are capable and firm to challenge elders in local council elections; free to participate in local elections, accept nominations; benefit from youth council. However, youth are challenged by; lack of support networks, high corruption and abuse of power, low physical and fiscal capacities, legal powerlessness and a low representation of the youth in the political arena. But available opportunities were cited in committing respect to the available resources, media campaigns and educational awareness and fostering freedom of choice. The study therefore concluded that, violence and election malpractices remain high in local elections leading to a low willingness to participate. For a better political representation, the problems leading to the presence of election violence and undue influences must be eliminated. The study recommended government and other concerned actors to; provide for alternative measures of sensitizing people into the need for civic education such as seminars, debates, m people of different political ideologies; voting out of corrupt officials; providing foreign media coverage in supervision of elections and protecting civil society groups from intimidation which would lead to youth empowerment
A research report submitted to the College Of Humanities and Social sciences in partial fulfillment of the award of bachelor’s degree in Public Administration of Kampala International University
Elections, Youth participation in elections, Youth empowerment, Makueni District, Kenya