Kapisa radio programme spotlights importance of Afghan youth in development initiatives
MAHMUD-E-RAQI - The active and meaningful participation of young Afghans in the country’s public institutions and in political processes is crucial for local development initiatives, said panellists in a UN-backed radio programme broadcast in the central province of Kapisa.
During the programme, aired by Sada-e-Nijrab Radio to an audience estimated at 200,000 in and around Mahmud-e-Raqi, participants discussed the importance of Afghan youth in provincial decision-making and strategized on ways young Afghans can participate fully in Afghanistan’s political and social life.
Speaking during the programme, panellist Mohammad Mashoq Safi, the head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan, explained how young people in Kapisa are becoming more visible in the public sphere by actively forming strong networks. He noted that some 40 to 50 per cent of government officials in education, economics, justice and other sectors are young professionals.
“The coordination among youth has improved not only in the provincial capital but also across all the districts of the province,” said Safi. “That coordination is boosting morale and trust among communities.”
Panellist Nasira Rahmani, a women’s rights activist, offered a similar perspective, underscoring the importance of investing in education. “Youth are already playing a pivotal role in development initiatives with new energy and fresh ideas,” she said. “We need to invest in training and education to enhance their skills so they can contribute fully to the country’s development and the wellbeing of the people.”
Another panellist, Haji Hashmatullah Eshaqzada, the head of Kapisa’s civil society network, spoke about how young professionals in Kapisa have been actively involved in making key decisions at the provincial level, including with the peace committee. “Youth in Kapisa unanimously support peace,” Eshaqzada stressed.
The panellists urged listeners to carry the conversation forward among their respective communities and urged all Afghan youth to take an active interest in their country’s future.
While young Afghans in Kapisa face significant challenges, including illiteracy and unemployment, there is a growing recognition that decision-making in Afghanistan must involve young people. An estimated three-quarters of the population is below the age of 30, making young Afghans a vital demographic.
The radio programme, jointly organized by UNAMA’s central regional office and local media outlet Sada-e-Nijrab, is part of a series of outreach events aimed at engaging local communities in discussion on key social and political issues.
Kapisa, the smallest province in country, is home to Al-Beroni University, the fifth largest in Afghanistan.
In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. UNAMA backs conflict prevention and resolution, promoting inclusion and social cohesion, as well as strengthening regional cooperation. The Mission supports effective governance, promoting national ownership and accountable institutions that are built on respect for human rights.
UNAMA provides 'good offices' and other key services, including diplomatic steps that draw on the organization’s independence, impartiality and integrity to prevent disputes from arising, escalating or spreading. The Mission coordinates international support for Afghan development and humanitarian priorities.