An investigation into youth civic engagement in Zambia: a mechanism towards peaceful resolution of conflict in the community: a study of selected areas in Lusaka district.

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Namulele, Samuel
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The University of Zambia
This study sought to investigate youth civic engagement in Zambia as a mechanism towards peaceful resolution of conflict in the community in selected areas of Lusaka district. The objectives of the study were to determine the effectiveness of youth civic engagement as a mechanism towards peaceful resolution of conflicts in the community, to establish factors that can influence effective youth civic engagement in Zambian communities and to determine methods that can enhance youths‟ effective involvement in peaceful resolution of conflicts in the community. The study sample comprised of 50 NIPA students, 2 NIPA lecturers, 1 officer from operation Young Vote (OYV) and 12 youths from Kalingalinga compound. This study was a descriptive survey design which sought to gather information regarding the respondents‟ opinions and experiences of respondents on the topic of study. Combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data through guided interviews, focus group discussions and structured questionnaires. The study established that youth civic engagement is an effective mechanism for conflict resolution in the community. Further findings revealed that education, opportunities for employment both in formal and informal sectors as well as freedom of expression are key factors in youth civic engagement as they provide a mechanism through which the youth can contribute effectively to their communities. Based on these findings the study concludes that youth civic engagement is key in the development process because the majority of Zambians are youths. Therefore, if the youth are fully engaged through entrepreneurship and formal employment activities, they can contribute significantly to the economic growth and development of the country. Additionally, the youth are full of enthusiasm and innovation as well as energy, all of which can benefit the economy if the youth are engaged positively. In view of the above findings and conclusions, the study makes the following recommendations: that all agents of socialisation, for example, schools, colleges, universities and churches must promote youth civic engagement. The government must work with all the youth regardless of their political affiliations. The youth must join political parties, community organisations and school unions as platforms to express their grievances rather than resorting to violence.
Youth civic engagement. , Conflict resolution. , Conflict resolution--Zambia.