Poor youth funding irks Malawi Parliament

Parliament is disappointed with shoddy funding that continues to be allocated to youths in the country, saying it derails efforts or maximum support.

Chimwendo Banda: Youth need support
Chimwendo Banda: Youth need support

Social Welfare and Parliamentary Committee chairperson Richard Chimwendo, who represented the Speaker of National Assembly Richard Msowoya, said on Friday in the capital Lilongwe during the NGO Coalition on Child Rights (NGO CCR) stakeholders meeting that youths in the country were being sidelines.

For example, he said, in last year’s budget youths received a hefty K5.9 billion and yet out of that K5 billion went towards the construction of a stadium.

“What it means is that the Ministry was left with K900 million to carry out activities regarding the youths,” noted Chimwendo.

He said as parliamentarians, they were now drumming up support for the establishment of a Parliamentary Committee on Youths.

“We hope it will go a long in solving such problems,” he said.

He added: “Productivity of this country lies in youth investment. Their independent voice is vital and strategic to the development of this nation.”

Chimwendo said that much as there are programmes like Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDEF), the problem is that the programmes are not being run by the youths themselves.

“There is need for these programmes to be run by the youths themselves because they’ve a better understanding of their challenges,” he said.

He urged the National Youth Council to be proactive for a difference.

“The problem is that the youth council is not as proactive because they are the ones that are supposed to be championing these things I’m talking about so that parliament can just work on the legal aspects,” said Chimwendo.

In his remarks, NGO CCR chairperson Desmond Mhango said the meeting was aimed at making stock to find out why the youth parliament was not taking convening.

“It’s now two years since we had the last youth parliament, we’re also looking at whether whatever has been discussed in the previous sessions has been fed to the main parliament,” said Mhango.

Director of Children Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Disability and Social Welfare McKnight Kulanda said the youth parliament has not been meeting because of lack of resources.

“The problem is that the youth parliament started as a Unicef project and there was not proper strategy as to who would continue with it after donors pulled away,” said Kulanda.

Since 2002, Malawi held the Children’s Parliament annually as an institutionalized set up to provide a platform for children to voice out their concerns in order to influence the formation of policies and enactment of a variety of legislations.

But the efficiency and effectiveness of the parliament how impaired by absence of linkages with the main Malawi Parliament.

In line with the Action Plan of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and motivated by the Malawi Parliament 2010 – 2015 Strategic Plan, the Children’s Parliament metamorphosed into the Youth Parliament.

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Dr Haswel P. Bandawe
Dr Haswel P. Bandawe
6 years ago

Investment in the youth is extremely important not only in terms of formal education but socialization and familisation with issues that directly affect their group and their involvement in designing and implementing the needed programmes/ projects. Such activities also serve as leadership and skill training opportunities for the youth. Funding for such programmes must be a priority (not luxury vehicles and expensive travel or many state houses). When the resources are scarce priorisation of programmes is a must. The priorities so chosen provide an insight into whether the people in power are shortsighted or long term planners who have the… Read more »

crazy stuff
crazy stuff
6 years ago

Good. Which malawian wants tgis stupid crap?
Donors bullying

Dominic Nyasulu
6 years ago

Any country that fails to invest in youth is adead and futureless one, its high time youth come out get organized and demand whats belong to them. Otherwise hard times await them(us), if we keep sleeping.

6 years ago

We need this thanks so much Chimwendo at least you are talking sense now. We have so many youth staying put in our country . We need good funding

6 years ago

Well done Hon Chimwendo.We would love if we could have Parliamentary Committe on Youth and Ministry of YouthDevelopment only.Keep it up fighting for the Youth.

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