President Professor Peter Mutharika on Friday reiterated that his government will always work with the youth for the social economic development of the country, saying they should continue carrying the message of hope for Malawians.
Mutharika challenged that if Malawi as a country does not invest in the youth, it should be ready to pay as 80 per cent of the total population of the country constitutes the youth.
He said this in Lilongwe at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC), when he officially opened the first ever National Youth Conference where he also launched the youth status report.
Said Mutharika; ” If Malawi is to move forward and progress, there is need to invest in the youth, we have no option but to put the youth on the driving seat as they constitutes our population.
“My government has always acknowledged the presence of the young people, for example the introduction of the community colleges which are helping in imparting various skills in our youths”.
He added; ” Through the community colleges, the youth will be imparted with skills, quality skills help in improving development as it is the only sustainable way of poverty eradication because through it we can move Malawi from a third world country to a first world country”.
According to the Malawi leader, once the youth have been imparted with the skills, there is need to support them economically with money to start small investments.
He said today there are many challenges faced by the youth, but sometimes the youth face those challenges because as a country we do not recognize the capabilities that they have, and asked all Malawians to change their mindset towards the youth and start investing in them.
On his part, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mia Seppo concurred with Mutharika saying the pinnacle of Malawi’s development is youth empowerment.
” As UN we understands that the youth of Malawi, who constitutes the majority of the country’s population, are confronted with a multiplicity of development challenges, in the areas of education, health, employment, entrepreneurship, gender equality and women empowerment, human rights and HIV/AIDS,” Seppo said.
According to Seppo, the girl child is the most challenged, as evidenced by the high rates of child marriage.
“For instance, 50 per cent of girls are married before their 19th birthday. Teenage pregnancy is very high and school dropout rates for girls are also high,” she noted.
On access to employment, she said 130,000 enter the job market each year but the formal sector is unable to create jobs at a rate sufficient to absorb these entrants, and only 14 per cent are in white collar jobs at a rate sufficient to absorb these entrants.
The National Youth Conference which is held under the theme; ‘Youth development and empowerment, key to transforming Malawi and beyond,’ attracted the youth from across the country.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :