SAAYE Malawi pushes youth employment agenda to Sadc leaders

Malawi’s unemployed youth levels continue to rise, bringing concerns the southern African impoverished country will not meet much of the intended development goals.

M’theto Lungu  (wearing a hat)

During the 14th Civil Society Forum (CSF) held at the Heja Game Lodge in Windoek, Namibia from earlier this month, the Malawi Chapter of the Southern African Alliance on Youth Employment (Saaye), joined leading SADC civil society organisations in demanding for youth emancipation across the region.

Received by the SADC Heads of State and Government during their 49th summit, the CSF communique laid down three areas that are key to opening equal suffrage for youth in the SADC region.

M’theto Lungu, SMC host coordinator under the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) said: “As Saaye Malawi Chapter, we are happy that the CSF Communique for the first time has embraced our demands. We are excited that our national leaders have taken it upon themselves to consider these important areas of youth employment.”

“We  workshopped our collective SADC SAAYE CSF Advocacy Strategy early August with key local partners and stakeholders to tease out issues to bring on the table. We are glad that our concerns are also shared with the other Chapters from other participating nine countries, as well as key players in the Ecowas block,” added Lungu.

Under the theme ‘Youth employment and empowerment,’ SAAYE resolved that there be stronger advocacy for the adoption and  implementation of the SADC Youth Employment Promotion Policy Framework (Yeppf) in accordance with the provisions of the African Union Youth Charter (AUYC) and with the provisions on employment in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) and the SDGs.

According to Lungu, this is  intended at improving youth participation in decision-making processes and in the SADC development agenda and ensure that there be advocacy for the SADC Member States to ensure youth representation in positions of power.

Further said Lungu: “We would like to ensure that the development and enforcement of a Youth Empowerment Policy to be aligned to the Industrialisation Strategy of the SADC region as well as the African Youth Charter.”

Lungu said that at the meeting SAAYE Malawi  pushed for the improvement of youth participation in decision-making processes and in the SADC development agenda; and to undertake the capacity development of young people in the SADC region to enable them to participate meaningfully in the development and governance processes, with a special focus on the marginalized and less privileged youths, intended at enhancing youth participation capacities.

“Moving forward, as SAAYE Malawi Chapter we shall continue to engage the Tevet Policy and other national youth policies to ensure that youths are engaged in dignified and wider market jobs,” he said.

SAAYE Malawi wants the education system to be geared towards creating job creators than job seekers, and that the member states provide for adequate support to skills development endeavours.

“Malawi’s future and development cannot be achieved if the youth bulge remains dependent on a few adults other than the old benefitting from the enhanced capacities of the larger youthful population,” stated Lungu.

This year’s CSF theme is ‘Strengthening our Partnerships towards the SADC region.

Stakeholders charged with the implementing of the youth thematic discourse are; SAAYE, Trade Unions, churches, mosques and CSOs and SAAYE Malawi Chapter is made up of the SADC Apex Alliance replication of MCC under the Fellowship of Church Councils in Southern Africa (Foccisa).

Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) under the Southern African Trade Unions Coordinating Council (Satucc), and the Youth Consultative Forum (YCF) under the Sadc-Congress of Non-Governmental Organisations (SADC-CNGO).

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