Youths in Traditional Authority (T/A) M’mbwatalika in Lilongwe have taken to task their community leaders for what they say is their unwillingness to engage them in development initiatives.
The youth held a dialogue session with the local leaders on Saturday at Chitedze CCAP Church where the two sides agreed to include the youth in development committees.
Mpingu Youth Club (MYC) chairperson Howard Kawerama cited the construction of a mortuary in the area as one project the youth are excluded.
He said: “If youths are not represented in any committee, any development that takes place may not represent their interests.”
Village head Chimamba admitted that in the past, chiefs have not been including youths in committees where developmental issues are discussed.
“However, we will be glad to have them in development committees,” he said.
Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (Cepa) project officer TiwongeChirwa, whose organisation advocates for youth inclusion in various positions, said if the youth are not included in any development initiatives, issues affecting them would not be considered.
“As an organisation, we ensure the youth are linked with duty-bearers at district and national level,” she said.
Lilongwe Rural district youth officer Joseph Manthalu said it was important to include the youth at national and local committees in line with the country’s National Youth Policy.