The National Planning Commission (NPC) has dared Malawian school-going youths to unleash their arts potential to contribute towards a new vision for the country through My Future, Our Future youth essay writing competition.
The competition is part of the consultation process to solicit ideas from Malawians to inform the country about how they want to live in by the year 2063 which NPC is overseeing. The project is a successor of Vision 2020 whose time-frame ends this year.
The essay writing competition will involve Malawian youths aged between 10 and 25 in primary, secondary and tertiary schools. Three top winners from the three categories will be rewarded with prizes such as laptops, educational materials as well as cash.
According to a statement from NPC, interested participants for the essay writing competition are being asked to submit one essay with not more than 300 words explaining their development vision for 2063 and subsequent suggestions to be implemented to achieve that vision.
For the art contest, interested individuals have been asked to submit one painting or drawing depicting their vision for Malawi by 2063.
The statement reads in part: “With Malawi being a youthful nation, it is only proper that the youth have a bigger say towards the country’s future. It is on this basis that NPC has introduced this competition through which young Malawians can contribute towards a new vision for Malawi.”
In an interview, NPC communications specialist Thom Khanje said education is one of the key factors for the development of the country and the essay and art competition has been designed to encourage school-going children to get involved in the development of national plans for the country.
He said: “The competition will encourage the youth to think about Malawi’s future and share their ideas on the kind of the country they want to see by 2063.
“Youths are the future of this country and it is important that they are encouraged to have a say on what needs to be done to develop this country.”
Khanje said the two competitions will also encourage the power of positive imagination amongst youths. An independent panel comprising lecturers, teachers and representatives from partner institutions will oversee the selection of winners.
The NPC is conducting the competitions in collaboration with Youth Core Advisory Panel (Youth CAP) with support from National Youth Council of Malawi, Unicef and World Bank. The organisers will start receiving the entries immediately through NPC offices. The NPC is an agency established in 2017 through Parliament tasked with the mandate to develop and coordinate the implementation of the country’s medium and long-term development plans.