Policy dialogue: PaynCoP Gabon for youth participation


An article from Gabon News

The Gabonese section of the Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCOP Gabon) organized a meeting with the national press on Thursday during which it expressed its desire to see young people take part in the future political consultation announced at the end of last December by the President of the Republic.

Members of PAYNCOP Gabon, including the permanent secretary (in jacket), on January 12, 2023, in Libreville. © D.R.

The exchange of PAYNCOP Gabon with national media took place Thursday, January 12 in Libreville. The aim was to present a the summary of the report of the consultations on the political and civic participation of young people. It was organized within the framework of the project to support the civic and political participation of young people supported by the United Nations. The report that presents the results of the consultations that led Jerry Bibang, permanent secretary of PAYNCOP, and his team to four cities in the country (Franceville, Oyem, Port-Gentil and Libreville) during the months of August and September. They collected the opinions and concerns of young people in connection with their political and civic participation.

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Question related to this article:
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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In addition to the presentation of the report, PAYNCOP Gabon also discussed the political consultation announced by the President of the Republic on December 31. The date of the meeting has not yet been indicated, the organization hopes it will be inclusive and will take into account all social categories, including young people involved in civil society organizations. This is especially important since they say they have concerns to express during this future meeting.

“Among the concerns is the low representation of young people in elective positions in political parties, whether one is from the majority or the opposition. Law No. 9/2016 of September 5, 2016, setting the quotas for access of women and young people to political elections is not respected by the political parties when choosing their candidates. This greatly limits the representation of young people in decision-making positions despite their potential,” explained Jerry Bibang.

Bibang added that “the question of the training of militants and sympathizers of political parties as well as that of actors engaged in civil society organizations constantly came up during these consultations”. All of these concerns as well as possible solutions by way of recommendations are recorded in the report, “The Common Position of Youth on Citizen and Political Participation” that the organization hopes to transmit to the authorities.

A press release by PAYNCOP Gabon states: “At a time when the President has just announced the holding of a national political consultation, we believe that the concerns as well as the possible solutions contained in this report should fuel the discussions during this next national dialogue. We are going to mobilize other youth association platforms so that young people can play their part during this national meeting. This is an opportunity for us to call for an inclusive dialogue that takes into account the active participation of all social categories, in particular young people from civil society organizations. Because, when the country goes through troubles after the elections, the political parties are not the only ones to suffer these consequences. We are all impacted, and therefore, we must all participate in the reflection for inclusive, credible, transparent and peaceful elections.”