Background …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
2.1 A history of violence ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
2.1.1 Misinterpretation of the Burundian society …………………………………………………… 6
2.1.2 Ethnic exclusion and discrimination ……………………………………………………………. 7
2.1.3 Colonialism ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
2.2 Current conflicts and tensions …………………………………………………………………………. 10
2.2.1 The urban problem: unemployment and violence ………………………………………… 10
2.2.2 The rural problem: poverty and land disputes ……………………………………………… 11
2.2.3 Political tension ……………………………………………………………………………………….A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
“The destiny of any nation, at any given time, depends on the opinions of its young men under five-and-twenty.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).
“Much youth violence is preventable by creating positive life options and socializing them for peace rather than war.” – Michael Wessells, “Child Soldiers, Peace Education, & Post-conflict Reconstruction for Peace’, Theory Into Practice, 44:4 (2005).
“Organizations that are successful in involving young people in meaningful ways are able to translate this attitude into policies & programs that incorporate youth as partners in community building.” – International Youth Foundation, What Works in Youth Participation (2002).
This literature review on youth participation in peacebuilding in the context of youth empowerment and promotion of sustainable peace from global, regional and local perspectives. In addition, it this chapter presents a theoretical framework, conceptual framework and research gap.
3.2 Operationalization of Key Terms and Concepts
What is youth?
Youthisaperiodoftransitionbetweenchildhoodandadulthooddefinedbybiological, psychological and social markers, the latter depending on the cultural contexts. For the UN it comprises persons between 18 to 24 years of age. Youth can act as individuals or as informally/formally organised groups.
The Namibian National Youth Policy (2004, p.5) defines youth as all persons aged 15 to 30 years. The policy, however further stipulates, that age is just one simple way of defining a young person, but there may be many people older than 30 years who are experiencing the same problems or advantages as those aged 15 to 30 years. There is a lack of consensus with the definition of youth, the definition is different depending on the context. Western actors normally use an age range definition, while African societies often define youth out of socio-cultural criteria, such as marriage and getting responsibilities.
For the purpose of this study the definition of participation is based on the UN
Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding (UN-IANYD
2014), referring to four different approaches; i.e. a human rights-based approach, an economic approach, a socio-political approach, and a socio-cultural approach. These four approaches of participation in aftermath of conflict are described as follows:
(1) A human rights-based approach, grounded in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the World Programme of Action on Youth;
(2) An economic approach that identifies young people as central to the economic development of their country, and promote their access to economic opportunities as essential for their own development;
(3) A socio-political approach that connects young people to civil society and the political arena, and provides them with opportunities, training and support for their active engagement and participation in public life; and
(4) A socio-cultural approach that analyses the roles of young people in existing structures and supports dialogue, including an intergenerational dialogue, about these structures. (UN-IANYD 2014:1).
Youth participation is defined ‘as the space for youth to contribute in decision-making processes that requires accountability. Lopes Cardozo et al. (2015, p.4) specifically highlight in their literature review the link and interconnectedness between the different dimensions in peacebuilding and the misleading effect of recognizing and engaging with one dimension in isolation from each other”. For this reason the stated definition was selected for being able to encompasses all forms of it and cater for the broader socio-cultural, political and economic context in Namibia.
The term peacebuilding refers to a holistic process of promoting peace and justice by addressing the root causes of the conflict in so that it does not escalate into violence. This research argues that peacebuilding must be holistic rather than prioritise physical reconstruction only.
What is peacebuilding?
Peacebuilding is broadly understood as activities that promote positive and negative peace. This means activities addressing root causes of conflict, prevention and mitigationofallformsofviolence,andtoworktowardshealingandreconciliation.Most commonly, youth participate and lead dialogue, social, educational and advocacy activities.
Galtung (1996), defined peace as the absence of violence in all its forms. Peace at personal level can mean the freedom to make personal choices, the provision and access to basic human needs, basic civil and political rights without fear and intimidation.
Peace refers to the ability to accept and celebrate diversity regarding political, religious and other affiliations at inter-personal or community level.
Galtung also introduced the distinction between positive and negative peace. Negative peace is characterized by the absence of violence, peace positive means the absence of structural or cultural violence.
Galtung (1996) further suggests that it is important to create a conducive environment to enable the transition from negative peace to positive peace. Positive peace entails the enjoyment of human liberties and freedoms.
Refers to the differences that arise due to different beliefs & value systems, religion, needs and unmet expectations.
Conflict can be divided into the following categories such as conflict: within oneself, between two people, within a community, within a country and involving many countries. Conflict can take various forms such as political, economic, social, religious, and ethnic or identity based.
Conflict is by nature unavoidable, ubiquitous, and inherent and a part of society. Conflict itself can be said to be neutral. It depends on how people react to a conflict to decide whether it acts out in a negative or positive manner.
3.2.6 Youth Empowerment
Youth empowerment is a process where children and young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives and it is aimed at improving the quality of life of the youths. This is achieved through building knowledge and education through raising awareness, capacity and Skills development.
The Plan of Action (PoA) on Decade on Youth empowerment and development (2009-2018) in Africa is a map towards the implementation of African Youth Charter (AYC) defines youth empowerment as building knowledge and education through raising awareness, building capacity and skills and enhancing accessibility to various opportunities that shape the future youth.
According to (Kalagbor and Harry 2018:1) youth empowerment is the outcome by why youths, as change agents, gain relevant skills to impact their own lives and the lives of other individuals, organizations and communities.
3.2.7 Promotion of Sustainable peace
Is creating conditions that facilitate the presence of sustainable peace such as youth participating in peacebuilding activities and programs, youth engaging in economic activities and being responsible behavior.
3.3 Youth participation & peacebuilding
3.3.1 Why Youth and peacebuilding? / The need for youth inclusion in peacebuilding
Regardless of being both causal agents and victims of conflict and displacement, youth are one of the least supported groups in conflict and post conflict settings. Driven by social exclusion, lack of opportunities, in situations of armed conflicts, a lack of or slow implementation of public policies that promote reparation and reconciliation, youth can become vulnerable and exposed to armed or political recruitment and exploitation. (UNOY 2013:7)
One of the challenges targeting youth is finding a common a definition. There are different definitions and descriptions of who the youth is in different contexts, organisations and scholars that makes it difficult categorize the meaning of youth. However, there is an agreement that the youth are leaders of tomorrow and this belief drives countries globally to place youth development programs at the top in their development agendas. (Kalagbor and Harry 2018:2). The UN defines youth as defines youth as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, youth in reality, a very heterogeneous group. Youth are seen as a phase of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of our interdependence as member of a community. This period in itself is highly dependent on the socio-cultural environment.
The situation of violent and armed conflict exacerbates the problem of finding a common definition of youth, because it forces children and youth to assume adult roles and functions. (UNOY 2013:7). In this research, we will use the Namibian National Youth Policy definition of youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 30 years. (National Youth Policy 2004:5).
A large and growing segment of the population
Globally, youth makes up more than 50% of the population
On average, youth aged 15 t0 34 years make up more than 35% of the population in the SADC countries; in Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe, 40% or more of the population fall within this age group (UN, 2011b). The world’s most youthful and growing population is found in Sub-Saharan Africa, which means that the number of young people is set to grow in the coming years, despite of the effects of the HIV epidemic (Population Reference Bureau, 2007).
The total numbers of young people, therefore, make addressing the needs of youth particularly pressing in SADC region. Neglecting the needs of the youth would result in a massive waste of human potential with serious consequences for the region both now and in the future.
The potential for a demographic dividend
Africa can take advantage of the ‘demographic dividend’ or ‘bonus’ by expanding opportunities for young people to participate socially and economically, and enabling them to realise their potential.
Theory of the “demographic divided”, is the benefit that a country gains by having a young population: a large pool of workers to support a smaller dependant population. This provides a window of opportunity for countries to save on health, education and other social services, improve the quality of education, increase economic output, invest in technology and skills and create the wealth needed to cope with the future aging population. This would provide an opportunity to significantly improve the quality of life in the region.
Africa has the youngest population in the world of 43 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is younger than 15 years old, but 66 percent are below 25.Young people aged between 10 and 24 years amounted to 309 million in 2015, and are estimated to increase to a massive 447 million by 2030. The continent is expected to reap the demographic dividend and take advantage of this key resource can change the economic landscape not only the region, but the globe. (Mueni 2016).
However, having a large a youthful, working –age population alone does not produce this dividend, young people also needs to be in work. That requires that jobs are to be filled and that the young people are having the necessary skills to fill them. Where, large numbers of young people who either have no skills, no jobs to use their skills countries are unlikely to be able to take advantage of the demographic dividend. (Roberts 2016)
Unfortunately, in the African context there are a large number of problems in transforming the numbers of young people into a demographic dividend. Currently, youth unemployment is four times more than that of the adult unemployment across the continent. Youth unemployment varies across Africa from 8 percent in Nigeria to 51 percent in South Africa. (Mueni 2016)
For the past three decades China have “reaped the demographic dividend” and India seems to be currently reaping it. If Africa wants to gain from the demographic dividend in the twenty-first century it will need to equip its growing youth population to become the workforce of tomorrow. If the rest of world’s population ages and fails to reproduce itself, then the consequences of Africa not doing so will be felt beyond the continent to the rest of the world. (Roberts 2016)
Giving greater voice to youth needs and perspectives
Promoting youth participation is important ensure that young people as they are the future, have more of a voice in the public domain and feature to a greater extent in public policy. The African Youth Charter provides a framework for states to develop supportive policies programmes for young people. However, the
The African Youth Charter does not only provide the Governments, Youth, Civil Society and International Partners with a continental framework, which underlines to the rights, duties and freedoms of youth. It also paves the way for policy makers to mainstream youth issues in all development policies and programmes for their empowerment. One of the key objectives of the charter is to ensure the positive involvement of young in participating in debates and decision-making processes towards the development of the continent. (AYCN 2006:3-4)
Young people make up a large percent of the population and have great potential to contribute, their voice in the public domain is often limited. There is a need to expand opportunities for youth participation and leadership in order to increase opportunities for youth to be able to contribute towards their own development and be heard at the same time.
3.3.2 Youth as victims / violent actors
3.3.3 Youth as perpetrators
Youth are often alleged as perpetrators of violence and those who are easily forced into participating in armed conflicts. This article argues that youth can be positively engaged in post-conflict scenario by examining the Sri Lankan case. The aspirations of youth are not taken into account. Author argues youth engagement in peacebuilding is key to prevent relapse into war and to consolidate peace. (Freddy, 2015)
3.3.4 The power of youth as peacebuilders
3.3.5 Youth as peacebuilders / Inclusion and participation of young people in society
3.3.6 Youth Participation in Peacebuilding
126.96.36.199 Human rights-based approach to Youth participation in peacebuilding
188.8.131.52 Economic approach to Youth participation in peacebuilding
184.108.40.206 Socio-Political to Youth participation in peacebuilding220.127.116.11 Socio-Cultural to Youth participation in peacebuilding
3.3.7 Challenges faced by Young peacebuilders
Many studies portray youth as key players in violence, but they are not included in key decision-making processes with the result that their voices are not heard and their efforts in peacebuilding are rarely documented or shared (Agbiboa 2015). There is a need to further study the role of youth as peacebuilders in order to strengthen and document youth peacebuilding activities (Del Felice & Wisler, 2007). Youth’s interest in peacebuilding has increased, but they face many challenges, for example, the youth bulge (an increase number of youth in the demographics) which leads to more violence and unemployment among the youth (Izzi & Kumar 2013). Research shows that idle and disengaged youth are manipulated by those who have political and financial power to engage in violence and disturb peace. They lack representation; their voices are not heard; therefore, they cannot decide for themselves. Thus, there exists a need to promote peacebuilding interventions for the inclusion of young people in peace processes to make their voices heard (Musarurwa 2016).
Youth have potential in leadership and can play a role in peacebuilding. There are tensions (intergenerational) shifts between the younger generation and the older generation over control of power, resources and people. Youth are impatient, desire to strive for more, wants to be seen as responsible, capable and independent to take care of a family or household as those are the pre-requisites of social adulthood. Dependency, exclusion and social or political marginalization become sources of social contest depending on the cultural contexts. Youth have a way of finding a voice and place in society through navigating power dynamics. Youth should be studied as individuals who are capable of addressing the challenges of physical, structural and cultural violence. Youth are social change agents who can transform violent, oppressive and hierarchical structures, as well as behaviour, relationships and attitudes into more participatory and inclusive ones. (Ozerdem 2016).
3.3.8 Perceptions of (about) youth
The predominant perception regarding the youth overly is negative. They are viewed as actors of violence, vulnerable, powerless and need to be protected. In addition they are seen as dangerous, violent, apathetic and as threat to security. Youth are stereotyped angry, drugged, and violent and a threat to security. (Ozerdem 2016)
The trend in research is increasingly on the need to target youth since their capacities can easily be turned to advantage the society instead. Since youth are seen as dynamic and open, they have potential to have a role both in violence promotion and in peace building. If they are provided with opportunities to socio-economic development, the literature argues that they can transform their roles and become actors in peace building.
The youth are often represented as a threat to peacebuilding, previous studies showed that violence around the world and particularly in Latin America, is mostly perpetrated by young men between their mid-teens and early thirties. (Butii 2017:5) However, it is also important to keep in mind that the vast majority of young people actually do not participate in violence.
The predominant image on youth is negative, meaning that they are often seen as actors for violence. Much research has tended to focus on the role of youth in violence promotion. Youth are often neglected in post-conflict reconstruction activities since it is not clear who they are.
3.4 Youth Empowerment
Who is the youth?
Why invest in the youth?
The youth lack adequate opportunities to positively contribute to their communities International Labour Organization (ILO) (2013), reported that the youth globally are nearly three times more likely than adults to be unemployed.
There is a need to develop more opportunities for youth in developing countries, because 90% of the world’s youth approximately 1.8 billion youth live in developing countries (Population Reference Bureau, 2013) of which many of these countries are active or post-conflict states. Failure to engage youth in development opportunities, will negatively affect their development processes and open the potential for future conflicts and instability.
Countries and communities suffers from the lack of contributions when the youth are not able to reach their full potential regardless of their engagement in violent acts or not. Employment is one of the numerous ways of engaging youth, regularly referred to by researchers measuring youth contributions and their impact.
Transformative potential of young people (civil violence and community peacebuilding)