Fungi Kwaramba recently in Botswana
Challenges facing the world can only be solved if leaders listen to voices of young people whose input is ever-inspiring in developing nations, President Mnangagwa said.
In a unique World Children’s Day commemorations held in Kazungula, Botswana on Saturday, where youths shared the stage with the President and his regional counterparts, children poured their hearts out on what they expected from their leaders, stressing the need for inclusion in decision making and policy formulation.
Contributing to the discussion held near Kazungula bridge, which was later lit in resplendent blue, an inspired climate change activist Nkosilathi Nyathi said voices of young people should be heard and called on leaders to act in tackling emerging threats brought about by climate change.
In a later tweet, the President expressed pleasure in meeting the country’s young climate change activist Nyathi.
“Today, I met one of Zimbabwe’s finest citizens. Nkosilathi Nyathi is only 18 years old, but has fought passionately for young peoples’ voices to be heard by world leaders.
“Zimbabwe can only resolve our current problems if we listen to the voices of the youth. If we fail to do this, we will repeat the failures of the past. Nkosilathi — you have truly inspired me today,” he said.
Nkosilathi was one of the speakers at the event. Last year, the young man, who resides in Victoria Falls, was appointed UNICEF Youth Climate Advocate to advance the climate and environment agenda in Zimbabwe and mobilise other young people to join the fight against climate change.
He has been an activist for climate change and environmental issues since he was 10 years old when he actively participated in his school’s environmental club.
Nkosilathi travelled to the COP25 Climate Summit in Spain in 2019 where he joined the voices of children and young people from around the world who called on world leaders to urgently address the climate and biodiversity challenges facing the world.
“My family lives climate change. It is very hard to see the environment you grow in collapsing. I am the leader today, we are the future and the future starts today.
“Include young people in decision making, invest in the future, we demand that you listen to our demands. There is no time. Time is gone. We are losing time we need to act now. I extend the call to action to everyone,” said Nyathi.
On Saturday President Mnangagwa joined his counterparts, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, President Hage Geingob of Namibia and President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia at the quadripoint where Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia meet.
The four leaders, after sharing the stage with children drawn from the four nations then resolved to be “Presidents for Children” vowing to take the initiative to other global leaders.
This year’s annual World Children’s Day was held under the theme “Reimagining the Future”, a new initiative that seeks to give children and young people the space to engage in defining the vision they want for their future and future generations.
The Kazungula Bridge was lit in blue, and also symbolised that children have no limitations to their hopes and aspirations.
“This occasion gives opportunity to us the leaders to hear the children express themselves, their aspirations and what they expect from us. But before I go into detail I would like to challenge the children besides expecting us to do things for them, we also as leaders have expectations from you,’’ he said.