The 2018 National Youth Conference has revealed that environment and structural setups of developmental forums are suppressing youth participation at grass roots levels in most districts.
The conference, which aimed at assessing youth participation in national development, among others highlighted the manner in which young people’s voices are suppressed in development structures.
Speaking during the meeting, one of the participants Catherine Mkandawire, who is chairperson for Nkhata Bay Youth Network, said in most village and area development committees (VDCs and ADCs) in the Northern Region, young people who represent their constituency suffer oppression as their input is ignored.
A random survey among young leaders at the conference confirmed that oppression and exclusion were common in many development committees.
Chairperson for Mkhumba VDC in Phalombe, Maxwell Piriminta, said it was important for all development structures to listen to young people in their areas.
Department of Youth principal youth officer Deus Lupenga, said youths should be encouraged to participate in development activities in their areas.
The two day National Youth Conference was held under the theme Reflect and Act for Improved Youth Participation and Leadership.