The Kenya Anglican Youth Association (KAYO) is launching a nationwide initiative aimed at reaching one million young Kenyans and encouraging them to register and vote in Kenya’s general election on March 4, 2013.
The upcoming election will be Kenya’s first since 2007, when electoral disputes triggered ethnic violence that left about 1,500 people dead and 350,000 displaced from their homes.
The “Wajibika [be accountable] Initiative” will mark KAYO’s 50th anniversary celebrations on August 13 to 18, said a press statement from the Anglican Church of Kenya. Formed in 1962, KAYO provides spiritual growth and guidance to young Anglicans in 29 dioceses across Kenya.
The initiative will also conduct training “to empower young people to elect capable and trustworthy leaders who will contribute to the growth of the country along the lines of the reform agenda supported by the church,” said Joyce Mwangi, communications officer for the Anglican Church of Kenya.
Young Kenyans will account for nearly three quarters of voters in the election, said the Daily Nation, Kenya’s leading national newspaper. It cited a poll indicating that 50.6 per cent of eligible voters are between ages 18 and 19 and another 32.8 per cent are between ages 30 and 39.
However, there are about three million eligible voters who have not registered, according to media reports quoting Kenya’s Independent Electoral Boundaries and Commission. Kenyan NGOs have attributed a lack of faith in the political process as a contributing factor to the lack of participation.