President Joyce Banda has disclosed about 18, 000 youths each year will see the back of idleness, unemployment or lack of skills following the launch of the National Youth Service Programme.
Speaking when she launched the programme in Neno on Saturday, President Banda said, at full operation, the programme will provide training to that number of youths per year thereby creating huge opportunities for economic activity in animal husbandry, aquaculture, trade and commercial farming of maize.
“The Programme will enhance the country’s capacity to realize food security as many of the youth will be trained in farming initiatives including maize.
“It is my sincere hope that the launch of the National Youth Service Programme will galvanize meaningful youth participation in Malawi’s socio-economic transformation,” she said.
The launch of the programme marked the unveiling of Neno Centre which is the first of a number of youth development centres that her administration is establishing.
This Centre is based on the Songhai Centre Model in Benin, for the establishment and management of integrated micro agri-enterprises for young people and their communities.
“My Government has decided to make Neno Centre a national and regional model for youth development. The Centre has already created 200 jobs,” she disclosed.
The Malawi leader said her government intends to establish satellites centres in other former Malawi Young Pioneer (MYP) Bases.
These include Ngapani in Mangochi, inNtcheu and Kamwanjiwa and M’mbelwa Farm Institute in Mzimba.
“These Centres are designed to be self-sustaining. It is my hope that management of these centres will live to the spirit behind this programme where they develop an entrepreneurial attitude,” she said.
Earlier, the President presided over the official elevation ceremony of Senior Chief Symon of Neno.
While there, the Head of State visited an elderly woman whom she promised to build a better house.