Inaugural ‘Citizenship Academy’ starts

The inaugural “Citizenship Academy”, which started today, aims to equip young people with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively participate in PNG’s democracy.

The Voice Inc., in partnership with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), are jointly hosting the workshop through the Youth Coalition Network.

The workshop is designed to ensure that young women and men, too often marginalized from political processes, are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively participate in, and contribute to, the consolidation and strengthening of their democracies. 

Democracy, an introduced system of governance to the nation of Papua New Guinea, has presented many challenges since 1975. Amongst the challenges are the continuous endeavour for peaceful and fair elections, the weak capacity to deliver basic services and a few others. However democracy has also presented the promise for equal opportunities and participation for all citizens in this country.

The participants of the workshop include youth leaders from various universities and institutions across PNG, including DWU in Madang, University Of Goroka in Goroka, University Of Technology in Lae and University of Papua New Guinea and other institutions based in Port Moresby. Also included are youth participants from Southern Highlands Province.

The workshop will include topics such as the constitution; elections; political parties; civic engagements; and the role of the media. There will be a lineup of dignitary guest presenters including former Chief Ombudsman Ila Geno, Registrar for Political Parties Funding and Disclosure Director John Bishop, Director of Election Operations in the Electoral Commission- Margaret Vagi Director of Electoral Operations and trainers of International IDEA from Sweden and Australia.

“The Voice Inc has always believed in the power of the youth,” said the organisation.

“Young people in PNG make up 70 percent of the population and hold the key to developing the nation’s future. As wealth pours in for the nation, we must be investing in building the wealth of a young person’s character. The time is now. The challenges of democracy cannot be properly addressed if a person does not know what democracy means and the length in breadth in which a functioning democracy can flourish.

“The partnership with International IDEA was established since CEO for Digicel Foundation Serena Sasingian Sumanop (who is the also a TVI co-founder) currently sits on the Board of Directors for International IDEA. Upon her appointment, the Australian Government nominated Serena for this role as the Asia Pacific Representative. Her role and involvement with International IDEA is strategic in advancing the work of the youth coalition and public policy.”

The Citizenship Academy will run for 3-days, starting on Monday, 1st of July, to Wednesday, 3rd of July, at the Hilton Hotel.

Press release