The British High Commissioner to Malawi Michael Nevin has challenged the youth of Malawi to take advantage of their large population and transform the country.
Nevin, who was key speaker at the Youth Consultative Forum (YCF) Extra-ordinary General Assembly (EGA) held in Lilongwe on Friday, said it was not pleasing to note that almost 50 years since Malawi got independence, the country was still lagging behind in many areas.
He therefore said if the youth could put their efforts together and make their needs known and attended to, Malawi would change for the better.
“Get me clearly,” said Nevin, “I am not suggesting a revolution here. All I’m saying is that there is quite a lot that you, the youth of this country, can do to transform the country.
“We would be glad to see you standing on your own as a nation and not depending on donors. We are fed up with playing the mother role because we are not your mother. You need to grow and reach a point where we can all call each other equals.”
The British High Commissioner commended the Forum for mobilizing each other across the country and also for number of interventions that the youth movement had already carried out across the country without any funding.
“I’m very glad today to say, at last there is a group of people who want a difference; a group of people who talk the language we want to hear.
“This is the first time I’m hearing a group challenge to carry out developmental activities without demanding donation,” he said, adding that the spirit ought to be encouraged to live on.
Nevin, however, bemoaned population growth as the major set-back in the country’s economic growth.
He said unless the challenge of population growth is addressed, “Malawi would keep struggling to keep her head above the water.”
Guest of honor to the YCF EGA, Andrew Kumbatira, who is also Malawi Postmaster General, also challenged the youth to start to think differently if things in the country were to get any better.
“We are a special generation,” said Kumbatira. “A generation aware of what’s going on around them and we must refuse to let other people define us. We must define ourselves.
“We need to step aside from our comfort zones, rise up above mediocrity of the past and help transform our country.”
Kumbatira concurred with Nevin saying like a caterpillar graduates into a butterfly, Malawi continued to remain a caterpillar, a situation he described as very unfortunate.
“A butterfly is a butterfly and not a flying caterpillar,” said Kumbatira, “We’ve been a caterpillar for too long and we ought to graduate.”
Other speakers at the Assembly included governance specialist, Dr Augustine Magolowondo, entrepreneur Grace Mijiga-Mhango, and a young professional, Thomas Munthali.
YCF is a network of all youth organizations in the country under the motto; ”Giving back to mother Malawi,” and the Forum’s main objective is to engage all the youth in the country in active participation developing the country.
So far the Forum has carried out a number of developmental activities throughout the country, among them rehabilitation of school blocks, sanitation, construction of bridges and reforestation.
This was the Forum’s first Assembly and it was held under the theme: ”Active youth leadership and development – the future is now.”–Malawi News AgencyFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :