Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Jean Kalilani says investing in the youth is the best way possible for the nation to reach greater heights.
The minister said this on Friday at Mankhamba Primary School in Dedza East Constituency during the 2016 World Population Day commemoration.2
“I am honoured to be guest of honour in a constituency that has put Malawi on the map for remarkably taking girls back to school which is in accordance this year’s World Population Day theme Investing in Teenage Girls for a More Stable and Peaceful World,” said Kalilani.
She said government will ensure that boys and girls, who constitute a large part of Malawi’s population, are empowered in all areas of life.
On his part, UNFPA country representative Dan Odallo said despite significant gains the country is making in reducing poverty and improving opportunities and well-being for many people, teenage girls and boys remain desperate for a chance to a better future.
He, therefore, called on government and development partners to focus on issues affecting the country’s population.
In her remarks, United States of America Ambassador Virginia Palmer pledged to support all activities that focus on educating girls.
Dedza East member of Parliament Juliana Lunguzi (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) urged all stakeholders to harness the demographic dividend in Malawi.
She said Malawi’s investment in girls must start at early childhood development (ECD) level until the teen years and beyond, so that from the cradle to the office, they should be equipped with the right skills.
Lunguzi emphasised that family planning education and information is imperative for the youth to learn to have manageable family sizes that do not further stress the environment.
“As per this year’s theme, as a nation, we need to invest a lot more than we are doing in the younger generation. Without leaving boys behind, we need to invest more in teenage girls,” she said, adding the youth are Malawi’s under-utilised resource,” she said.