Kenya has a young population, with the 2009 census indicating that 78.31% of Kenyans are aged 34 or under, 5.9m of whom are voters. In the past, many candidates have appealed to this influential demographic to help them win election, but failed to deliver on their promises once in office. Youth Agenda believes that this need not always be the case and so, working in partnership with the Ford Foundation, have developed an SMS system of Leadership Vetting & Selection. The idea is to encourage Kenyans to reflect on what makes a good leader and to be able to identify those characteristics in political candidates. Youth Agenda aim to work with more than 10,000 young Kenyans to raise awareness of leadership skills and to start a debate on key political issues affecting the country.
The Youth Agenda SMS Platform is an interactive online platform that has been designed to both send and receive text messages via a shortcode. As well as sending out texts, the platform will efficiently collate the responses of young people. By building up an accurate picture of the concerns and priorities of young people, Youth Agenda will be able to lobby those in charge to charge to change or adapt their policies.
With a general election coming up this year in Kenya, voter education has never been more important. That’s why we’re delighted to be supporting Youth Agenda with a grant of £10,000. The money will be used to develop content for the system, manage the online platform, pay for salary and airtime costs and related administrative costs.