Youth-Net and Counseling (YONECO) has accused the Minister of Youth and Sports Enock Chihana for requesting Mzuzu Youth Society to apologise for calling upon government to urgently approve and begin to implement the National Youth Policy which has been lying idle for many years now.
Chihana asked the organisation to apologise on the matter in the Nation newspapers of Monday, June 3, 2013.In their statement made available to Nyasa Times signed by Executive Director Mac Bain Mkandawire, YONECO applauded the Mzuzu Watch Society for taking government to task on the youth in Malawi.
“The issue of National Youth Policy in Malawi is long outstanding and makes the programming in the youth sector a nightmare. The government cannot continue doing ‘hide and seek’ on youth matters. Interestingly, the government has even gone ahead to start negotiating to send young people to countries like South Korea with no clear policy direction. This clearly demonstrates the government inability to make necessary provisions for the youth development work in Malawi,” reads the statement.
Mkandawire urges the Joyce Banda administration to urgently approve and begin to implement the National Youth Policy which has been in neglect for many years.He bemoaned that Malawi government has no coherent youth development programme that can be pointed to.
“In line with this, YONECO gives its full support to the youths, organisations, and various stakeholders that are pushing the government to urgently approve the long overdue National Youth Policy. We are profoundly concerned by the continued negligence and lack of seriousness by the key stakeholders (the Ministry of Youth Development
and Sports and youth) in adopting the policy that stands to benefit a lot of Malawian youths,” said Mkandawire.
Yoneco boss asked youth activists “to make sure that there are coordinated efforts to move the agenda of the youth development in Malawi.”
Mkandawire posed a question: “How much does the government or the Ministry of Youth itself or the politicians themselves really care about our youth? If the government cannot approve now a policy that stands to benefit almost half of the Malawi’s population that is largely constituted by the youth; when will it (the government) find it fit to do this?”
He added: “Everyone in this country should be reminded that the future of this country is in the young people today. The way we manage our youths today will be a yard stick as to whether the country develops or note.”
Mkandawire said as YONECO, an organisation whose main focus is empowering the youths clearly feels that the continued absence of the National Youth Policy and National Youth Programme signifies a number of things about our government and the youth.