Young People’s Voices heard in Zambia’s Election

Young people in Zambia turn out in large numbers on polling day


At the center of Zambia’s general election, young people turned out as the highest rate than ever before, playing a key role in the elections.

The turnout was the highest since Zambia’s multiparty elections and young people constituted more than half the electorate.

On the Election Day, young people woke up early, stood in long queues for long hours to vote and make their vote count and voice heard.

Young people queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Lusaka, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021,

Elections in Zambia are largely influenced by young people, including first-time voters.

Young people voted in huge numbers. Four million young people between the ages of 18 to 24 registered to vote. It was a huge turnout and it was very personal to them. They want to ensure the mistakes of their parents were corrected. They voted for a leader based on better policies and ideas that can strengthen our state institutions.

Jack kalimbwe, young person

Prior to the general elections, Restless Development Zambia partnered with the Electoral Commission of Zambia and embarked on voter education campaigns sensitizing young people in various communities on the need for them to register as voters.

Through this, young people were provided a platform where they learned about civic and governance issues. The platform encouraged discussions among young people on governance and policy making and ultimately motivated them to take more action and be involved in decisions that will affect their future.

An online poster by Restless Development Zambia encouraging young people to register as voters.

Through the Young people’s Participation in Governance Project (YPCG), Ishiwi (My Voice) and Tikambe Youth Media Projects, our trained young volunteers held community sensitization campaigns educating other young people on how they can participate in democratic processes, such as registering as voters and making informed decisions when voting

In the lead up to the elections, there was a heightened interest from young people on how they can meaningfully participate in the elections and other democratic processes

As a result, a large turnout of young people registered as voters and subsequently turned out in large numbers on the polling day to cast their vote and make their voice heard. They constituted more than half of the electorate and their voices were heard.

With the elections closed and winners declared, young people are hoping that their demands will be met as they continue holding the government accountable.