ZIMBABWEAN YOUTHS COMMEMORATE AFRICA YOUTH DAY
Today the Zimbabwe Youth Council joins the rest of the African continent to commemorate Africa Youth Day. This year’s commemorations run under the theme, “Promoting Youth Mainstreaming as a Catalyst towards Harnessing Demographic Dividend”.
The commemoration comes at a time when Zimbabwe has made great strides in eliminating child marriages and advocating for investment in health, entrepreneurship and skills development to reap fully from the demographic dividend. It is also a time when the empowerment of young people has escalated to great heights and has seen the government of Zimbabwe prioritizing young people for land allocations.
As the Zimbabwe Youth Council we want to assure young people that we continue to push the government’s agenda on youth empowerment and advocating for equal participation in all spheres of the economy.
Africa Youth Day is day set aside every year by the African Union to promote the increased recognition of youth as key agents for social change, economic growth and sustainable development in all facets of African Society. It is an occasion to celebrate the youth on the continent, opportunity to contribute and channel youth motivation, energy and creativity towards the achievement of the Youth African Agenda.
According to the African Union, about 65% of the total population of Africa are below the age of 35 years and over 35% are between the ages of 15-35 years- making Africa the most youthful continent. By 2020 it is projected that out of 4 people, 3 will be on average of 20 years old. About 10 million young African youth arrive each year on the labour market. The African demography poses a great opportunity for African countries, Zimbabwe included, to reap from its youth demographic dividend.
SIGNIFICANCE OF AFRICA YOUTH DAY
The commemoration has the following significance:
- The African Youth Day presents a unique opportunity to showcase the potentials of the African youth, celebrate their contributions to development arena as well as design strategies for the way forward.
- It further provides the opportunity to promote the visibility for the youth and their actions at national level thereby encouraging increased investment in youth development at local, regional and international levels
- The African Youth Day is a means to encourage innovation and creativity among young people and to strengthen youth participation in various aspects of the economic, social and political development of their countries
- It is also a means to strengthen the solidarity and involvement of young people in actions promoting stability, peace and sustainable economic development
This year’s commemoration comes at a time when there have been some positive developments in youth programming on the African continent and Zimbabwe in particular. Key among them includes:
- Ratification of the African Youth Charter
- 2009-2018 declared the African Youth Decade
- Zimbabwe Youth Development Report Developed
The Zimbabwe Youth Council remain focused on unlocking economic empowerment opportunities in order to ensure that young indigenous Zimbabweans participate and contribute meaningfully to the nation’s economic growth and development.
Further more ZYC calls upon the private and public sector players nad development partners to invest in young people and accelerate youth agenda.