Kaduna Chronicles: Paving the Way for Youth in Governance

By Zakari Isah - wKaduna

Kaduna, Nigeria – In a groundbreaking event, the city of Kaduna played host to the 'Policy Dialogue on Strengthening Youth Engagement in Open Government Partnership (OGP)', drawing together a diverse assembly of key stakeholders, government officials, and emerging young leaders. The primary objective of the gathering was to facilitate a robust dialogue, share valuable insights, and bolster youth involvement in the governance framework.

I'm a welcome Remarks, Yusha'u M. Abubakar, the Kaduna State Coordinator for Community Civic Engagement, inaugurated the event on behalf of the Executive Director, Malam Abdul Razaq Alkali. Abubakar extended a warm welcome to all attendees, expressing optimism for fruitful deliberations.

*Kaduna OGP Journey So Far:

   - Tara Jeremia, the State OGP Point of Contact, delivered a compelling presentation on Kaduna's OGP expedition. He underscored the pivotal role of citizen engagement in the state's notable achievements. Jeremia detailed innovative tools, including the Citizens Feedback App, Toll-Free Line Call Center, WhatsApp Line, and Facebook Page, empowering youths and citizens to act as the government's "Eyes and Ears" across 255 wards in Kaduna State.

*Milestones in Citizens Engagement:

   - Musa Sulaiman, the Citizens Co-Chair of OGP Kaduna, showcased the tangible achievements of OGP in citizen participation. The discourse spanned open governance, focusing on critical areas such as security, access to justice, gender equality, and climate action.

*Launch of OGP Youth Engagement Forum (OYEF):

   - A landmark moment unfolded with the official launch of the OGP Youth Engagement Forum (OYEF), seamlessly integrated into the existing OGP Youth Hub. This forum establishes a dedicated space for young leaders to actively contribute to policy discussions, empowering them to shape the future of Kaduna.

*Panel Discussion – Youth Perspectives on Governance:

   - A dynamic panel discussion featured youth representatives sharing their unique perspectives on governance. Topics ranged from inclusivity in decision-making to leveraging technology for transparent governance, emphasizing the necessity of avenues for youth participation in policy formulation.

*Interactive Workshops:

   - Engaging workshops provided a platform for participants to brainstorm and discuss actionable strategies. These sessions fostered collaboration among stakeholders, encouraging the development of practical insights to enhance youth involvement in governance.

*Closing Remarks:

   - Malam Abdul Razaq Alkali, the Executive Director of Community Civic Engagement, delivered poignant closing remarks, expressing gratitude for the active participation and highlighting the importance of sustained collaboration in implementing youth-centric policies. 

Alkali reiterated Kaduna State's commitment to open governance and youth empowerment principles.

At the end, the Policy Dialogue on Strengthening Youth Engagement in OGP marked a pivotal moment for Kaduna, demonstrating the joint commitment of the government and citizens to promote inclusive governance. 

The launch of the OGP Youth Engagement Forum signals a significant stride toward ensuring active youth involvement in shaping the city's future. As the dialogue concludes, Kaduna anticipates positive strides toward a more transparent and participatory governance model.

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