n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Tomorrow's leaders? : emerging youth leadership and activism in Malawi

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



This article examines the common routes that lead to the emergence of youth leaders in local youth-oriented community-based organisations (CBOs), faith-based organisations (FBOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Further, the article attempts to study how youth activists in these organisations perceive and relate to political parties in defining the youth political landscape in Malawi. Third, the article discusses the political ambitions and goals of these youth leaders and activists. The findings are based on an analysis of 141 questionnaires, 12 focus group proceedings and 48 in-depth interviews with youth leaders in four districts. Two of the districts are urban and two are rural. Five major routes into youth activism are identified. The article concludes by discussing the potential for future political leadership roles for these youth leaders and activists. Astute political parties will do well to engage them in dialogue and activity that will boost sagging youth political participation. However, this will mean that political parties should create room for such a youthful leadership.

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