Six presidential candidates yesterday committed to improving the quality of health service delivery and work towards empowerment of the youth and children if they come into power after the May 20 Tripartite Elections.
Children and youth under the auspices of the Malawi Human Rights Youth Network, Timveni Children and Youth Media and Unicef engaged the candidates with a list of priorities they must address when elected.
The candidates who appeared before the youths and children at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe were Kamuzu Chibambo of People’s Transformation Party (Petra), Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Mark Katsonga of People’s Progressive Movement (PPM), George Nnensa of Tisintha Alliance, Helen Singh of United Independence Party (UIP) and Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Unicef representative Mahimbo Mdoe said by signing the commitments, the presidential candidates had demonstrated a political will to make Malawi a better place for children.
The candidates signed a letter of commitment which included promises to reduce newborn deaths, reduce malnutrition, increase classrooms for better primary education, reduce early marriage and create jobs and reduce youth unemployment.
Chakwera of MCP said with a population of 60 percent of Malawi, the youths and children needed to be given a chance to flourish and reach their potential.
Chakwera outlined his party’s policies on education, health, youth entrepreneurship and career development.
Nnensa said there were a lot of unemployed youth and his leadership would instill a spirit of entrepreneurship in them.
Singh said the youths were the most valuable asset because their mindset and perspective would determine the future of Malawi.
In his remarks, Mutharika said his party had demonstrated the importance of youths and children in leadership positions.
Mutharika said his party would revive the Youth Economic Development Fund programme which his party started to empower unemployed youths.
More candidates, including President Joyce Banda, are expected to make similar commitments today.