Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Francis Phiso has called on youths to be agents of change in controlling the population as they are the future leaders.
Speaking during the official launch of the National Youth Conference Pre-symposium on Population and Development at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, Phiso said the youth are key in shaping a country’s development.
He said: “The youth have an important role to play in ensuring that population growth is managed. Abstain and plan your families, and if you are already married choose family planning methods that will help control the population boom.”
Phiso said government recognises that young people play a critical role in population, health and sustainable development, which are some of the key aspirations in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III.
On her part, National Youth Council of Malawi board chairperson Hellen Buluma said the conference is important because the council wants the youth to be instrumental in developing the country and controlling its population.
She said: “The population of Malawi is full of youths. We would like our youths to have one voice to bring change when they meet their counterparts at an international gathering. They are the change we need in controlling population.”
The National Youth Conference is an annual event which brings together youth leaders from across the country and development partners to review the status of youth participation and leadership in HIV and Aids as well as Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) programming in Malawi.
The country’s population has increased from four million in 1966 to 17.5 million, according to the 2018 Population and Housing Census.