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Chipungu says Malawi govt. recognizes its youth as drivers for national development

WASHINGTON (MaraviPost)–The Government of Malawi has said that it recognizes the importance of the youth in the national development of the country, and for this, it will embark on effectively harnessing the potential of the youth and equip them with knowledge and skills necessary for their full participation in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the country.

Speaking at a conference on Monday, 1st June, 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Principal Secretary for the Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood, Mr. Chimwemwe Chipungu said that government of Malawi is concerned with high levels of unemployment, especially among the youth; hence it has initiated the implementation of a carefully selected mix of economic, fiscal, monetary, trade and investment policies in order to promote the creation of productive and decent employment.

Chipungu further stressed that, “the Government of Malawi will encourage self-employment through the creation and empowerment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. In this regard, it has elevated the Ministry of Labour to be a key ministry because it is a belief of Malawi government that the Ministry can play a critical role in the creation of decent jobs in the country”..

While making his statement, Chipungu outlined a number of initiatives that the Government of Malawi has committed in order to encourage the youths of this country to develop a mentality towards non-white collar jobs environment and be prepared for self-employment and entrepreneurship, which includes the establishment of a National Youth Development Service (NYDS) aimed at developing skills for the youth to enable them to be self-reliant.

This will also comprise the empowerment of the youth to articulate their own needs through the formation of area, district and national youth organizations; establishment of new vocational and business training centers for vendors; and the creation of new opportunities for soft loans to enable the youth to start their own businesses.

However, Chipungu singled out education standards in the country as a bottleneck to youth empowerment and development which is marred by inadequate teaching and learning materials, insufficient classroom blocks and a high pupil-teacher ratio.

In order to address these challenges, Chipungu pointed that, under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, the government will strive to provide adequate teaching and learning materials in all public schools; construct and rehabilitate school blocks and girls hostels; promote learning of science, technology and technical subjects in schools; provide computer laboratories in all public secondary schools; and revise the terms and conditions of service for teachers to make the profession attractive and competitive.

Recently, in his state of the nation address, Malawi’s President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika outlined his government’s plans to design basic education in a manner that it produces youth who are able to engage in trade, business, production and self-employment, through among other initiatives, creating a Special Child and Youth Rehabilitation Fund to enable children and youth from impoverished families have access to vocational and technical training that equips them to become self-reliant and entrepreneurs.

In addition, he said, the government will introduce innovative community colleges that will make use of existing structures in all the districts to provide practical knowledge and skills relevant to our economy and for self-employment. Further, the government will establish new universities, a case in point is the recent opening of the Malawi University of Science and Technology and Community Colleges, and encourage Technical, Entrepreneurial, Vocational, Education and Training (TEVET) Programmes.

The High-level event was convened to provide an opportunity for Member States and stakeholders to evaluate investments needed to reap the demographic dividend, including through employment opportunities for young people. The meeting was presided over by the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Sam Kutesa.

The meeting was also attended by UNFPA Chief Babatounde, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon and Malawi’s Deputy Permanent Representative to UN Lot Dzonzi.

 

N (MaraviPost)–

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