Malawi Pres. Banda launches youth policy, calls for integrated approach in addressing youth issues

President Joyce Banda has called Government departments, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to spearhead integrated approaches which are geared to addressing issues which affect the youths in the country.

Banda was speaking Monday when she alongside presided over the commemoration of the 2013 International Youth Day with the theme ‘Culture,Tarent, Cerebrating Youth Leadership and the inauguration of National Youth Policy after being conducted on a tour of displays mounted by the Youth Enterprise Development Fund Equipment at Ntcheu Boma.

“There is greater global attention than ever before to youths’ issues as manifested through several international, continental and regional heads of state summits such the Southern Africa Development Community-SADC- Psychosocial Support for Youths which was held in Windhoek in Namibia, hence the need for concerted amongst government and non state actors and well corroborated and designed initiatives which can empower our youths,” said Banda.

President Banda
President Banda

She said the theme of the commemorations should make stake holders reflect on maximizing culture and talent to mode the country’s youths into leaders who can participate in national sustainable development.

“We cannot manage to achieve our Economic Recovery Plan if we do not involve the youths, hence my government is deliberately putting in place initiatives which are geared towards creating conducive environment for the empowerment and involvement of youth in all development programmes,” she said.

She said the country cannot achieve sustainable development without involving the youths and that we cannot address youths’ issues without involving them.

The President also called on state and non state actors to put in place polices and programmes which can reflect at building our youth into useful citizens as stipulated in the theme of the day.

She then cited some of the challenges which are being faced by youths in the country, among others being inadequate employment and lack of accessibility to scientific technology due to inadequate technical training institutions.

The President also said the formal employment sector fails to absorb the unemployed youths, hence the need for the informal employment sector to also develop policy which can promote youths’ employment.

“Youth are vulnerable to a lot of challenges, such as HIV and AIDS, early pregnancies with high maternity deaths, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse and response to these challenges, my government has plans to introduce National Youth Service which will target the youth without tertiary education,” she said.

She added that government will soon introduce National Internship Programme through which youth would be attached to government and private sectors and companies as a way of providing training to the youth in various skills.

Banda said the launching the National Youth Policy is a manifestation of her government’s commitment towards address issues which affect youths.

Earlier, Deputy United Nations Childrens Fund-UNFPA Resident Representative to Malawi, Rogayah Abd Rahim, said the commemoration should create public awareness of the roles of the youth in national development as they   form a development capital of the country.

She however cited, unsafe abortions, gender based violence, unemployment and early pregnancies as some of the challenges which bar the youths from reaching their full potential and she therefore pledged her organizations continued support in supporting the youths in Malawi.

At the function, some youth achievers who included Airtel Chief Executive, Saulos Chilima,Promount Chief Gomani v of the Maseko Ngoni and Chairperson of National Youth Council gave youths motivational statements.--Malawi News Agency

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