outh and Society (YAS) executive director Charles Kajoloweka has urged government and other stakeholders to support the youth if they are to be a powerful tool in the country’s evolution.
The activist said this yesterday as Malawi joined the global community in commemorating World Youth Day.
He said: “We have not done well when it comes to creating a platform broad enough for the youth. We lack institutional leadership that ought to guide funding and offer decisive direction to assist youth programmes.
“Even the ministry that should be responsible for the youth is lacking, they are putting all efforts on the ‘sports’ part of the ministry leaving out the ‘youth’ part. Again the policy structuring leaves a lot to be desired in order for youth programmes to have direction because even the National Youth Policy expired in 2018.”
Kajoloweka described the National Youth Council of Malawi (Nycom) as ‘politicised’ but recommended National Youth Development Commission that should act as a hub for the youth.
In an interview, Ministry of Youth and Sports spokesperson Ali Kalichelo said due to Covid-19, there will not be a public commemoration.
Nycom, a statutory commission, yesterday evening held a panel discussion on radio with entrepreneurs and government officials to discuss the best ways of implementing the year’s theme.
In her remarks, Nycom public relations officer Yvonne Sundu said it was government’s wish that the youth are proactive to create their own opportunities.
She said: “Problems that the youth are facing seem to be multifaceted with youths from different sectors having different problems.
“However, we call on the youth to not always wait for opportunities to be handed to them but instead venture into creating their own opportunities in fields such as agriculture or small and medium enterprises.”
However, Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences vice-principal and associate economics professor Betchani Tchereni noted that entrepreneurship programmes for the youth remain highly politicised.
He said: “Entrepreneurship programmes such as National Economic Empowerment Fund [Neef] if left to their own devices will not allow young people to engage in their own businesses ideas that will transform their lives.
“The youth need small bankable business projects and we must offer amenities like machineries and office space and not cash only.”
The day, observed on August 12 , is this year being commemorated under the theme Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health.