Following the official release of 2015 election timetable, young people from the 36 states of Nigeria convened at a National Youth conference in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on 28th – 30th January 2014. The convening of the conference was premised on the critical need to undertake a holistic appraisal of the election climate and architecture, harness the real participatory power of young people and their readiness to get involved in the electoral process, develop strategies and collaborations for effective youth engagement in the 2015 elections and beyond. The conference was organized by the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), Youth Alliance on Constitution & Electoral Reform (YACORE) in collaboration with the Democratic Governance for Development Project of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP/DGD).

The conference drew over two hundred participants from youth civil society organizations, ministry of youth development, political parties, media organizations, socio-cultural groups, religious organizations and international development partners. The conference also benefitted from shared experiences of participants from South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and the United Kingdom. Three national commissioners and directors of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) represented the electoral commission at the conference.

At the end of the Conference, a communique was issued. The communique called on INEC to develop a contingency plan ahead of the 2015 elections, commence the continuous registration of voters and begin the distribution of permanent voters card to Nigerians. The communique also decried the growing electoral impunity by politicians and condemned the over-heating of the system by the do-or-die attitude of the politicians.

The participants at the conference also noted that there is a need to commence on voter education nationwide using various media and strategies in order to educate the populace ahead of the coming elections.

Download the YACORE Communique

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Rotimi Olawale, co-founder of is a youth development expert. For more than six years he has been involved in leading youth advocacy efforts mainly around the Millennium Development Goals. In 2006, he represented Nigeria as a youth ambassador at the United Nations Global Youth Leadership Summit held at the UN Headquarters in New York. Rotimi has held several global leadership positions including; member, UNFPA Global Youth Advisory Panel for 2 years; member, African Youth Panel. Rotimi is currently involved in shaping local, national and global policies to benefit youth and also leverage opportunities for young people. He was listed by the Nigerian government as one of 15 Nigerian youth on the world stage in 2008.