AU commends Malawi youth for standing up for their rights

African Union (AU) has commended youth in the country for standing up for their rights by presenting a manifesto that is addressing issues that affect them.

Youth decide campaigners

Speaking  in Lilongwe recently AU Regional Delegate for Southern Africa Dr Ngomo August said the country’s youth are leading the way in expressing themselves by presenting a document that stipulates, asks and proposes solutions to issues affecting them.

“Sixty percent of Africa is composed of youth and for them to achieve what they want, they have to put energy in their dreams and stay focused; on top of that, make proposals. But this depends on how youth organise themselves like they have done.

“They should not just stop at making of the document (manifesto) but they have to make sure that they advocate for it and push their agenda,” August said.

August added that that what the elders need are more ideas from the young generation and proposals like the ones in the manifesto are very important to them.

“Youth have to make sure that they create a network which will push for the implementation of this document and also they have to organise and propose a way to implement it,” he said.

Youth Decide team leader Charles Kajoloweka said for a start, they engaged political parties before the launch and it was pleasing that most political parties have included youth issues in their manifestos.

“We really want the parties to commit to our expectations and, for that to happen, we will need constant engagement with all actors beyond political parties because this document is comprehensive and speaks to a number of stakeholders,” Kajoloweka said.

One of the youth Christian Chaponda said the manifesto is a good tool for them because it will act as a checklist for those in authority to accommodate the youth in different aspects.

“If the nation can adopt the manifesto then it will give us the advantage to have an upper hand by holding the authority accountable to fully include us towards national development,” he said.

Chaponda said the youth have been largely affected by issues of unemployment, and lack of access to loans for starting up businesses.

To this effect, he said there are high rates of alcohol abuse, early marriages and teenage pregnancies.

Youth manifesto was launched on April 10 in Lilongwe under the theme “Consolidating Malawi’s youth development agenda through collective youth voice.”

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