Upfront with Refilwe Moloto

Youth vote in South Africa


Africa speaks to Hillary Musarurwa | Bertha Scholar and graduate of the MPhil specialising in Inclusive Innovation at UCT Graduate School of Business.

In Africa youth participation in elections and in governance more broadly is low. Whilst Africa is touted to be a young continent, with more than 60% of its inhabitants aged
under the age of 35, in some countries like Zimbabwe only an average of 38% of this
age group are registered voters. My own research, carried out for my PhD thesis and
recently published in Commonwealth & Comparative Politics in 2018, shows that these
young citizens feel increasingly excluded and unrepresented, and this leads to a cycle
of frustration and apathy. Young people complain that the system is not working for
them and feel that there is no room for them to participate in changing it.

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