Factors that hinder participation of the youth in National leadership of political parties in Zambia

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Musonda, Sydney
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University of Zambia
Zambia is a multi-party democracy with many political parties in existence with a population that is predominantly young, but the youth are generally hindered from holding leadership positions at national level of these political parties. Opportunities for the youth to take up national leadership positions in the political parties are very few or non-existent. This dissertation focuses on establishing and analyzing the factors that hinder participation of the youth in national leadership of political parties in Zambia. This subject area is worth investigating because since the attainment of political independence, the notion has been that the youth are the future leaders of Zambia but they keep being sidelined in the political arena. The specific objectives were; to establish the extent of participation of the youth in the leadership of political parties; to establish how leadership and candidate selection impact participation of the youth in leadership of political parties and to identify the constraints that hinder the youth from being national leaders of political parties. The research is both qualitative and quantitative in approach and used descriptive research design. Data collection was done using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Furthermore, data was analyzed by the use of thematic analysis. The findings were that among other hindrances, there is lack of mentorship of the youth to take up leadership positions. Secondly, lack of capacity in decision making and expertise due to lack of knowledge and low education levels compounding the lack of confidence to aspire for leadership among the youth. Thirdly, there is lack of financial resources to mount campaigns for leadership positions. The other major challenge is that many older politicians and society assume that the younger the person is, the less prepared he or she is to deal with the mechanics of policy formulation and governance issues. Further research can be conducted on whether participation of the youth in leadership of political parties can lead to the institutionalization of political parties or consolidation of democratic tenets within political parties. Keywords Youth participation, national leadership, political party, Zambia
Political party , Youth participation---Leadership