Enhancing youth participation in politics through the Uganda Democracy Academy Fellowship

NIMD Uganda has launched the Uganda Democracy Academy Fellowship Programme. This programme brings together youth leaders from seven political parties in Uganda and will run until  December 2023. The monthly fellowship programme aims to empower young individuals and enhance their leadership skills, political knowledge, and civic engagement.  

Informed and evidence-based conversations

With approximately 70% of Africa’s population consisting of youth under 29 years old, compared to around 34% in Europe, it is evident that youth engagement in political processes in Africa holds immense significance. “Therefore, we are very happy to launch this fellowship here in Uganda”, says NIMD Uganda director Primus Bahiigi. “Each month, the fellowship programme will concentrate on a different topic. Experts will facilitate in-depth discussions, ensuring a foundation for informed and evidence-based conversations. By convening regularly, participants can delve deep into specific thematic topics, explore multiple dimensions and develop comprehensive approaches and policy recommendations.” 

“The ideology of the academy is concerned with harmonizing our ideas as young people from different parties and working together to transform our country peacefully and democratically, and that’s exactly what I stand for.” Nadongo Mary 


The participants from the seven political parties are joined by young people from various youth leagues, including National Youth Council (NYC), Parliamentary Youth Forum (UPFYA), and Uganda Students Association (UNSA). This collaborative platform offers invaluable opportunities for participants to contribute to policy discussions, actively engage in political processes, and bring about positive change in their communities.  

The represented political parties are: the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Justice Forum (JEEMA), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), and the National Unity Platform.

Input for policies and recommendations

Not only will the fellowship increase young people’s knowledge and understanding of democratic governance and policy formulation, it will also allow us to establish a sustainable alumni network for continued collaboration, mentorship, and support beyond the fellowship period. We also plan to create policy proposals and recommendations, based on the discussions during the fellowship sessions.  

“Democracy in Uganda seems to be a myth. I believe this fellowship will present a wider perspective of what democracy can be and how we can achieve it as a country and as young people.” Buyondo Henry 

With youth engagement being a pivotal factor in Africa’s political landscape, initiatives like the Uganda Democracy Academy Fellowship are essential for driving positive change and shaping the region’s future. 

The first Fellowship session in June was on the role of young people in regional integration. Angella Kemirembe, communications advisor at NIMD Uganda, shares her experiencies in this article.

The July session focused on the role of political parties in Uganda. Rogers Tulyahabwe, one of the participants, has written a blog, which you can find here