The youth generation in Africa is booming, with one-third of the population aged between 15 and 35.

At the same time, youth tend to be disengaged from the democratic process. Young people vote less frequently, stand as candidates less often and remain underrepresented in electoral managerial functions.

This Policy Brief argues that electoral management bodies (EMBs) in Africa play a critical role in promoting youth participation in electoral processes. EMBs should develop creative strategies for youth inclusion and engagement. The community of practitioners should share the experiences of EMBs already pushing this agenda.

For EMBs that have not yet engaged fully, these success stories may serve as an important source of inspiration for initiatives that fit their historical contexts.


Publication date
24 November 2015
Number of pages



The role of electoral management bodies in promoting youth participation

Youth as voters

Youth as electoral contestants

Youth as electoral administrators


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Youth participation in electoral processes: new roles for African electoral management bodies

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