By Tiyese Monjeza:
African Union (AU) Southern Africa Regional Office Ambassador David Claude Pierre has said investing in youth empowerment initiatives can help the country accelerate the attainment of socio-economic development goals.
He cited education and agriculture as some of the areas that would benefit from initiatives driven by financially capacitated youths.
“Youths and women are the majority-population in Malawi; as such, they should not be left out of development initiatives. One of the ways of incorporating them in national development efforts is by investing in them. If their [youths and women’s] financial and technical needs were met, it would be easy for Malawi to meet its sustainable development goals,” Claude Pierre said.
He was speaking in Zomba on Saturday, when stakeholders commemorated International Youth Day.
The AU official bemoaned under-utilisation of youths on the continent, saying this was making it difficult for youths to fulfil their full potential.
“Youths are an under-utilised resource and, yet, they can help in national development endeavours. One of the aspirations in the Agenda 2063 is for an Africa that is people-centred; an Africa where youths and women are part of decision-makers,” he said.
Zomba District Youth Network Chairperson Sanudi Mussa called on the government to consider introducing soft loans targeting the youths.
He cited entrepreneurship as one of the pathways to economic success at both individual and national level.
Director of Youth in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Judith Msusa said, in line with aspirations outlined in Malawi 2063, the government had put in place a number of interventions, including youth entrepreneurship and technical skills development initiatives.
“All these have been put in place to ensure that youths become productive citizens,” Msusa said.
The commemorations were held under the theme ‘Transforming Food Systems; Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health’.