Source: Byo vendors launch youth development policy – NewsDay Zimbabwe
BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THE Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) has launched a policy document which seeks to support youth development initiatives in the city.
The policy came at a time when a majority of young people in Bulawayo, and throughout the country, are unemployed and do not have access to means of production, and rendering them socially and economically excluded and vulnerable to poverty.
BVTA director Michael Ndiweni said the youth population was estimated at 67,7%, but more than 80% of them were unemployed.
“It is pertinent to develop policies that respond to the needs of young people as a measure of revitalising and empowering their self-development, and community development among the youth. Empowering youths creates conditions for limiting demographic inequality and exclusion,” Ndiweni said.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is transforming the type of work people do, how it is done and general lifestyles. Equipping youths to tap into the 4IR opportunities creates desirable conditions for further exploitation of new media to amplify urgency and advocacy on youth issues and wider communities’ development,” he said.
Ndiweni said the policy document arose from the need to have programming principles and awareness to identify clear goals and objectives to support youth development through mainstreaming and integrating youth issues across initiatives and processes in Bulawayo.
“Through active participation, young people are empowered to play a role in their own development as well as in that of their communities. Youth participation is important because if excluded and not empowered, young people fail to reach their potential, such as acquiring gainful stable employment and contributing to community development,” he said.
Ndiweni said the policy sought to create effective channels of co-operation and information exchange among young people, government agencies and other decision-makers.
“The multiplicity of sectors and policies that influence youth development outcomes, the diversity among youth should consider not just their needs and aspirations, but also systems and processes that halt their development.
“The policy encourages and promotes youth-led organisations and the important role they play in supporting young people’s civic engagement, capacity-building and providing non-formal education through financial and technical support and promotion of their activities,” he said.
Ndiweni said the policy sought to strengthen participation and inclusion of young persons with disabilities in decision-making processes on an equal basis with others.