With participants consisting of 13 women and 13 men from numerous regions of Zambia, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Zambia Office, YLDP first block week of 2023 took place from March 19-24 in Chisamba Zambia. The programme through its qualified trainers, aims to equip future political and social leaders with a unique set of skills they need to better achieve their goals and fulfill their desired role in society. It is a programme that reflects political pluralism, promotes greater awareness of the consequences of one's actions and inactions, and provides a learning opportunity for young engaged leaders. Zambian youth make up about 80 percent of the population and therefore play an important role in the country's democracy. The country's youth have the potential to work for a better economic and social future for Zambia and to ensure that everyone's potential is realized. In the last elections in 2021, the young population in particular actively participated in the transition of power and in the awareness campaign to register to vote.
Coming from various fields and covering a wide spectrum of expertise and skills, this year´s 26 young participants aim to make their contribution to a prosperous Zambian Democracy. The participants come from different sending agencies which include political parties, such as UPND, PF, and MMD as well as from a variety of civil society organizations, such as Young Women in Action (YWA), Girls Gone Political (GGP), and the Centre for Young Leaders in Africa (CYLA). In addition, a number of participants come from trade unions, such as the Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ), the Zambian Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), and lastly the Mineworker´s Union of Zambia (MUZ). This selection reflects the dynamics of youth in the various organizations, which focus on current issues and concerns in the country.
Some of the core topics of YLDP are the importance of democracy, social justice, and freedom as cornerstones of the country. Preserving and strengthening these values requires the commitment of all Zambians and future leaders. In order for participants to learn and acquire leadership skills, they are trained by professional external staff on a number of topics, such as personal identity, leadership development and public speaking. The first block week was filled lively exchanges of ideas through plenary sessions, presentations, and debates.