KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Sudan’s youth led the movement that ended the al-Bashir regime and began the current transition to peace and democracy.
The special role that youth, particularly young women, played in fostering change is recognized in the Constitutional Charter that establishes the framework for the transitional period.
The charter stipulates that a major goal of the transition is to “strengthen the role of young people of both sexes and expand their opportunities in all social, political, and economic fields.”
As the transition enters its third year, the role and voice of youth, who represent more than 60% of Sudan’s population, remain important. A transition that sidelines youth risks losing the support it needs to succeed.
In August 2020, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports invited The Carter Center to support the training of youth who would serve as independent, impartial observers of the transitional period and peace advisors in their local communities, a report prepared by the Carter Center said.
Released on Thursday the report said to identify youth who could be engaged and establish a baseline of perspectives, in March and April 2021 the Center conducted field research, including mapping, surveying, and focus groups among a diverse range of youth groups in 500 locations across Sudan.
It said the survey results highlight important trends among youth that are encouraging but also provide early warning to transition officials that there are gaps in how youth engage in and feel about the transition that, if not managed properly, could create significant obstacles to the transition.
“Although surveyed youth remain highly optimistic about Sudan’s trajectory, a majority are not currently engaged in national policymaking. While they are eager to support the transition, 42% said that youth organizations like theirs have little to no voice in the transition process. Respondents recognized dramatic improvements in respect for the human rights of the Sudanese people; however, the goals of the revolution remain largely aspirational for nearly half of those surveyed.” It added
Youth interviewed, it argued, cited concerns about the transition’s progress in forming the Transitional Legislative Council and other institutions mandated by the Constitutional Charter, as well as the government’s ability to address everyday challenges, including the economy and provision of basic services.
These findings underscore the goodwill that youth have towards the transitional government that should be harnessed, but also the fragility of support and confidence among the representatives of youth-led organizations, the reports explained.
Based on these findings, the Carter Center strongly recommends that transition leadership focus on finding official means of engaging youth and incorporating their perspectives, including establishing the bodies of the transition process foreseen by the Constitutional Charter that would allow for their greater participation; establishing a robust communications and engagement campaign to:-
a) Inform about the progress of the transition,
b) Receive grassroots input on the transition,
And c) communicate how youth’s perspectives are reflected in the process; and designing a transitional justice effort that effectively includes youth.
Link for the report: sudan-youth-survey-report-en.pdf (cartercenter.org)
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