Leadership training turns youth from supporters into leaders

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After taking office in the 2019 local election via a CCM ticket, he collected $ 27 million in direct debits from various sources in two years, the highest amount the village has ever pocketed in such a short time since. its foundation in 1964.

“The highest amounts of income recorded by previous leaders are between 2 min / – to 3 min / – per year,” he said in a recent interview.

But Choloni is not the only young leader to make a difference in Kilwa district. Saïd Malenga (34) was also elected president of his hamlet of Matandu Njenga located in the district of Kilwa Kivinje.

He fought with older people in his own CCM party’s primaries before clashing with flag bearers from other parties and eventually emerged.

This list of young leaders also includes Hassan Kiseko who was elected president of Mitole Songosongo in the Mitole district at just 34 years old. He says he had a lot to convince to convince the electorate.

“I wasn’t just young; I was an opposition cadre known to CUF before joining the CCM before the elections, so many were suspicious of me, ”he said.

All these young leaders are beneficiaries of the Kilwa Local Rights Program (LRP) which has been implemented in the district by ActionAid Kilwa since 2018.

As part of the LRP, a total of 574 young people from the districts of Mandawa, Kilwa Kivinje, Mitole, Njinjo, Kilwa Masoko, Miguruwe and Lihimaliao were trained on leadership, the public expenditure tracking system (PETS), equality gender, organic farming, good governance, effects of corruption, budgeting, how to make traditional pesticides and how to access loans from funds allocated to youth by Kilwa District Council.

The beneficiaries were also trained on climate change and how to mitigate it, how to find a market for their agricultural products. The program provided the trainees with improved seed varieties as capital.

Malenga said that with the knowledge and skills gained during the training, he became confident enough to challenge the seat that was by default, previously reserved for people aged 50 and over.

To empower others, he sensitized young people at hamlet meetings to use the loans offered by the Kilwa District Council through its Social Development Department.

So far, four economic empowerment groups namely, Hunters’ Groups, Tumaini Letu Umoja Women’s Group, Mapambano Group and Mama Lishe Group, have been established in Matandu hamlet.

The clusters are engaged in horticulture, grain milling projects, motorcycle taxis as well as food sales.

“All the groups are doing well because none have defaulted on their loan and for me it’s a huge success,” he said.

As for Choloni, since his electoral victory, he says he has been able to introduce a new style of leadership to the village of Kiwawa consisting of holding a general assembly every three months during which the income and expenditure reports are read.

“Previously, mandatory meetings were held but financial reports were not made public; when I came to power, I made it compulsory and it was well received, ”he said.

Choloni said the biggest benefit he got from the training was going from a shy man who couldn’t stand in front of a crowd and say a word to a speaker who organized a public rally and was elected .

Kilwa Youth Development Initiative (KIYODI) President Justine Lai, who is also a beneficiary of the training, said that after receiving the education in 2018, they formed the organization to, among other things, encourage young people to challenge the leadership position.

“In the 2019 local elections, a total of 21 KIYODI members contested various leadership positions and six won,” he said.

Prior to Action Aid Kilwa’s intervention with the training, youth participation in politics was negligible as they were mainly used by older people to mobilize their support during campaigns.

Local Rights Program Officer Joyce John said ActionAid Kilwa is currently working with youth through reflection cycles and KIYODI in the eight villages to help them participate effectively not only in politics but also in other areas that affect development in one way or another.

“Things have really changed here for the better and because it is the young people who hold the keys to the future I think there are better things to come,” she said.


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