By Tatenda Mbira
A national youth consultative forum was held at the Rainbow Towers in Harare on March 9 (Friday). The theme of the forum was “engaging youth, propagating evidence based policies for sustainable youth development”. Among those who attended were Minister of Women and Youth Affairs Cde Sithembiso Nyoni, Ministry of woman and youth Affairs Permanent Secretary Mrs. S Zembe, Principal Director for youth development Retired Major General Dziwema, Principal Youth Development Officers for Harare metropolitan province, Representatives of youth associations and young entrepreneurs.
Honorable minister Sithembiso Nyoni delivered the key note address. She stressed that young people from across the country must partake and benefit from government’s programmes as it remains committed towards active and meaningful youth economic participation. She also noted that it is important for young people to change their attitudes and behavior for them to become employable and contribute to the country’s economy.
It is time for the government to start acting on tackling youth unemployment, access to finance and markets and ensure adequate working space for young people to be fully empowered emphasized the minister
The Consultative Meetings, which are often times organized to have an overview on youth affairs will provide an opportunity for youth and Stakeholders to add their inputs into the national economic development projects. The meetings also serve as a capacity-building and networking exercise for major youth groups and Stakeholders in the country.
One of the main outcomes of the National Consultative Forum is the compilation of statements and recommendations by youth themselves and Stakeholders for consideration by the government when crafting policies. Government priorities, challenges and observations, are integrated into these statements, which will also provide national perspectives on the state of youth. The outcome of the dialogues, will be shared as an informational document with the Ministry responsible for youth, and discussed at the high-level segment of government