Chihana wants K1.6bn for rehabilitation of former MYP bases

Minister responsible for Youth Development and Sports Enock Chihana says his ministry has drafted a K1.6 billion budget for rehabilitating six former ) Malawi Young Pioneer (MYP) bases  bases of  disbanded para-military wing of the former ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and turn them into vocational skills training centres.

The MYP Training centres which were the source of vocational skills for the youths in the country were shelled by Malawi Army during the famous ‘Operation Bwezani’ in 1993.

During the fracas, all MYP institutions were destroyed and property worthy millions of kwachas was looted in broad daylight while hundreds of  highly productive young  pioneers were rendered jobless.

Chihana however told Nyasa Timesthat his ministry will revive all MYP establishment which will serve as youth development centres.

Chihana : Review MYP concept

The Minister said the six former MYP bases include; Neno, Namwera in Mangochi, Kamwanjiwa in Mzimba, Hewe in Rumphi, Chitipa and Chiradzulu training bases.

Currently, rehabilitation for Neno vocational skills centre are at an advanced stage.

Chihana said his ministry has set up a National Youth Service (NYS) scheme that seek to build the capacity of the youths in the country.

He said among others his ministry will rehabilitate the former MYP bases and turn them into vocational skills training centres where youths will benefit from skills such as carpentry, brick laying and tin smitting among others.

He said the rehabilitated bases will be equipped with machinery and that the trained youths will be able to access soft loans and equipment as start up capital.

”Besides, training the youths in vocational skills, the ministry also wants to engage youths in agriculture based on the concept of the now defunct Malawi Young Pioneers,” he said.

The minister noted that youths constitute 60% of the total population and yet only 10% of them are engaged in agricultural activities.

He said Malawian youths are not involved in agricultural production and yet the country’s economy is agricultural based.

Chihana said government is to review the  MYP concept with the aim of adapting it to a youth programme that will promote skills development in traditional sectors such as agriculture.

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