SA elections: AUC’s Chido Mpemba lauds youth for upholding peace


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Writes Reginald Tapfumaneyi
The African Union Commission (AUC)’s Special Envoy on Youth Affairs, Ms Cleopatra Chido Mpemba has lauded the youth for their active participation in the recently held elections in South Africa.
Speaking on the sidelines of the media conference held by the Head of the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM), former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta two days after the end of the elections, Ms.Mpemba echoed the same sentiments of the head of the AU delegation, describing the process as peaceful.
“The South African youth displayed a very positive attitude during and after the elections. So far, their tolerance and maintaining peace is the spirit we encourage all the people on the continent as the African Union.
“I am happy for the increased participation of youth and women in the electoral processes, with 54% representation as AU observers in South Africa.”
Mpemba was part of the African Union delegation deployed to observe the South African elections which was led by the former President of Kenya, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta.
“ I joined youth observers from across the continent and spent some time in the field stationed in Cape Town. What we witnessed as observers is highly recommended on our continent for peaceful elections and active participation. I believe that more still needs to be done to encourage the participation of youth in the process and increase the number of youth voter registration,” said Ms. Mpemba.
Africa is still grappling with a high number of youth who are not registered voters or at least not voting although they are registered, a democratic right that the past generation fought for against the former colonial regimes.
Meanwhile, also presenting his findings at the same media conference, former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, stated that his team was impressed by the overall process.
“Overall, the mission notes that the 2024 South African National and Provincial Elections were pivotal for the country’s democratic future and had implications for political stability within South Africa and the sub-region.
“South Africans freely exercised their constitutional right to vote and voted peacefully. The participation of youth and women offers hope for the future of democracy in Africa and indicates an increased trust in the electoral process,” H.E Kenyatta said in a preliminary statement.
Since arriving in South Africa, the African Union Election Observation delegation engaged with key stakeholders, including the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the media, civil society organisations (CSOs), faith-based organisations, representatives of the international community, and Heads of other Election Observer Missions, the African Diplomatic Corps, the international community, and academia.