Inadequate financing affects Youth Policy implementation

Youth Policy review study has revealed that inadequate financing towards implementation of the strategy affected its implementation.

Kajoloweka: There has been little financing towards the implementation of the policy.

Presenting the study findings Wednesday to Journalists at Illala Lodge, Youth and Society (YAS) Executive Director, Charles Kajoloweka said though Malawi made some strides in the implementation of the policy, inadequate financing was a major challenge.

“One key challenge that we have noted from our findings is that there has been little financing towards the implementation of the policy.

“When you look at the budget allocation towards the Ministry of Youth or strategic sectors that target young people, the allocation is not really inspiring,” Kajoloweka said.

He explained that for the past four consecutive financial years, the funding allocation towards the Ministry of Youth has been around 0.5 per cent of the total budget.

“Through the national budget, for example, consistently we have fallen around 0.5 per cent of the total budget. So, underfunding to key ministries targeting young people has been a huge challenge,” he said.

He further said the study, which was commissioned by Youth and Society, and was conducted by the Institute of Public Opinion and Research (IPOR), is meant to guide government and other stakeholders in the implementation of programs of youth development and empowerment.

Kajoloweka said YAS, as an organisation that is working in governance, policy and advocacy, has an interest in monitoring government policy.

He cited what he described as lack of national leadership at the Ministry of Youth as well as National Youth Council in terms of providing decisive leadership in policy implementation and limited capacity in providing technical leadership.

“Beyond that, we have also seen poor coordination in the implementation of the policy within government and non-state actors.

“We strongly believe that we need to strengthen the coordination in implementation if the next Youth Policy is going to make a difference,” said the YAS Executive Director.

He added that the last Youth Policy (2013-2018) did not put the youth at the centre of policy implementation evidenced by limited participation of young people in decision making.

He said at all levels from Village Development Committee (VDC) to the cabinet level and all decision making structures, young people are not adequately represented.

He however said it was pleasing to note that governmenthas implemented Youth Policy in the country since 1996 following the World Plan of Action on Youth by the United Nations.

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