International day for democracy 2023: Empowering the next generation

Every year on September 15th, nations across the globe come together to celebrate the International Day for Democracy. The United Nations established the International Day for Democracy to promote and uphold the values of democracy, such as transparency, accountability, inclusivity, and the rule of law. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.

As the UN Secretary General António Guterres said “On the International Day of Democracy, we celebrate its promise to societies – and recognize the many threats it faces at this time of tension and turmoil.”

This year’s theme for the International Day of Democracy, “Empowering the next generation,” focuses on young people’s essential role in advancing democracy and ensuring that their voices are included in the decisions that have a profound impact on their world.

Czech-UNDP Partnership for SDGs supports multiple projects where the young people play the key role. Among them belong:

Smart Technology Transfer for Ethiopia: This project addressed effective linkages between academic institutions and industry, which contribute to increased industrial productivity. They have not been established at target Ethiopian universities and there was a lack of awareness about benefits of mutual collaboration. Czech company UNICO.AI together with their local partner Hawassa University addressed this challenge through improved data management and effective presentation of research results towards local businesses and public sector. Young local leaders from Jima and Hawassa universities were involved in this project and took part in a study visit to the Czech republic where they established new partnerships and collaborations.

Biogas for Sustainable Livelihoods and Green Youth Entrepreneurship: University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague together with their local partner Hysper Enterprise implement project of Biogas production and by-product utilization in Zambia. The main activity of this project is the establishment of hen production as a guaranteed source of raw material for the Biogas production. This is an opportunity for the youth to acquire skills and knowledge in effective hen production and crop production technologies from the Czech Republic. The biogas plant will also be training center for the community particularly youths to expand the idea. The youth is trained by the Czech experts in Biogas production, biogas-based electricity production, efficient hen production practices, abattoir management and small scale meat processing. Training of local youths on how to construct, and maintain the bio-digester, will help in localizing the technology in rural households in Zambia. 

Seeds’ saving communities: the launch of Czech‐Moldovan seed libraries in Moldova: Czech association Seminkovna together with their local partner Ao Gradina Moldovei created a network of seed libraries which can be a starting point to address the issue of access to seeds at the local level. Here local people can get the basic set of a variety of seeds which they can reproduce to have their own seeds in the next season. The plan was to launch 3 to 5 seed libraries in different sub‐regions, however due to an extraordinary involvement of young leader from Ao Gradina Moldovei Ana Coutinho and head of Seminkovna Klára Hrdá, more than 20 libraries were launched and the number keeps increasing. This shows the essential role young people have in ensuring that their voices are included in the decisions that have a profound impact on their world.

About the Czech-UNDP Partnership for SDGs

The partnership of the Czech Republic and UNDP supports innovative solutions from the private sector of the Czech Republic, non-governmental organizations, universities, state institutions, research centers and individuals for solving specific development challenges in priority countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Zambia). The implementation of projects and expertise is financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.