#KASHuffPost - Youth and Politics in Different Regions of the World

Lively interactions at the opening event of the Adenauer-Huffington-Briefing in Berlin

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Huffington Post Germany have entered into a short term partnership which will see KAS staff based in 13 countries contributing articles about their work and the political and social trends on the ground. Over the course of the next few weeks, the blog posts will try to tackle the question of how politics can appeal to young people around the world.

The panel discussion at the launch on 2 February differed markedly from similar event formats in the German capital Berlin: instead of meeting in a conference room with the chairs set up theatre style and a panel in front of a European flag, about 150 young people sat on square white stools, sipping coke and chatted to CDU General Secretary Peter Tauber and six KAS country representatives about communicating political ideas to today’s social media savvy youth. KAS Media Africa Director Christian Echle joined the discussion via skype from Johannesburg.

The Adenauer-Huffington-Briefing is an opportunity for KAS to break new ground in approaching the issue of “Youth and Politics in the 21st century” and letting its foreign staff engage with readers from all over the world.

Despite the enthusiasm for the role social media can play in engaging young people in politics, the six country representatives all agreed: face-to-face contact remains an important component in any effort to inspire young people to get involved in politics. Especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where not even half of the population has access to the internet, personal contact is key.

Owing to the participants’ active use of twitter during the event, #KASHuffPost trended as one of the German top three most tweeted hashtags. And the discussion is set to continue: more articles from countries like Singapore, Kenya and Russia as well as the Gulf region are due to appear on the blog over the course of the following weeks.

The first piece by KAS Media Africa director Christian Echle can be found here (in German).