Forum petition Malawi parliament on National Youth Policy

The Youth Consultative Forum (YCF) has petitioned the Malawi National Parliament on the delay to review and adopt the National Youth Policy (NYP) which was formulated in 1996.

The petition was presented through the Member of Parliament of Nkhatabay West Grace Chiumia.

According to YCF National Coordinator Edward Chileka-Banda, the petition is a call to action by the Malawi Parliament to support the demands by the youths for the NYP that should guide and facilitate meaningful youth development in Malawi in a fast changing society.

“This is in recognition of the fact that the youth are a social capital that can help accelerate development if their energies and skills are catalyzed into productive work through the provision of a conducive legal and policy environment,” said Chileka-Banda said.

Chiumia: Received the petition
Chiumia: Received the petition

Currently, in a population of over 14 million, Malawi has 10 million young people.

On June 26 1996, the Malawi Parliament passed an Act for establishment of the National Youth Council of Malawi to ‘make a provision for the promotion, co-ordination and implementation of youth development programmes in the country and further to provide for matters incidental thereto or connected therewith’.

In the same year, the Cabinet adopted a NYC whose purpose is to provide guidelines for the development of action programmes and services to facilitate meaningful youth involvement in the overall national development efforts.

“However, the youth policy has never been fully reviewed since that year despite the provision for the same as a response to the changing needs of both the youth and the nation at larger.

“The review process initiated in 2007 has stalled for no clear reasons and explanation from government through the ministry of Youth and Sports in particular although efforts to demand the completion of the policy review process has not yielded any tangible results worth recording until now,” he said.

According to the petition, lack of the guiding policy in youth development has resulted in more attention being given to non-priority areas such as sports as opposed to youth development programmes and planning.

“Politicization of youth programmes leading to a waste of public resources, the failure to commit adequate financial resources for youth development  programmes  and worsening governance issues such as lack of accountability and transparency at both National Youth Council of Malawi and Ministry of Youth and Sports,” reads part of the

It furthers says lack of effective participation of youths in programmes and activities that concern them as more energy is being spent on advocating for the adoption of the policy rather than implementation and monitoring and that there is breakdown of collective values of patriotism, volunteerism and responsibility among the youth.

In her remarks, Chiumia said she will present it to parliament.

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