Why Zim must leverage on the youth bulge 

Source: Why Zim must leverage on the youth bulge | The Herald October 10, 2019

Tapiwa Matizamhepo Features Writer
Last week, Government engaged various stakeholders to come up with draft resolutions for consideration and possible adoption at the forthcoming 25th edition of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

This comes amid calls for increased investments in youth-centred projects and services.

Youth are an important demographic whose contribution to all sectors of the economy cannot be overlooked.

Thus, Government takes issues concerning the youth seriously.

Addressing stakeholders in Harare on Friday last week, senior director in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Mr Charles Mujajati said Government was committed to addressing the concerns of the youth.

“Resolutions of this meeting should be used in the structuring of future Government policies and documents,” said Mr Mujajati.

“As a country we remain focused on addressing the issues of our young people. This process is meant to understand their concerns so that they are incorporated into the country commitments.

“As you may be aware, we are also working on a Five-Year National Development Plan, and whatever is gathered here is also going to be factored into that developmental plan.”

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Zimbabwe country representative Dr Esther Muai said it was important for the country to invest in youth development as they are the most productive age group.

“UNFPA is ready to lend a hand. The Government must take seriously the propositions made by the stakeholders,” she said.

“It is important to have youth driving the agenda. Zimbabwe has to lean on the youth bulge and use it as an opportunity to address all the other confounders that are undoing any gains that could have been made.

“We have faith in Zimbabwe moving forward and we stand ready to help and whatever comes out, has been to be real not just another paper to be put on the shelf.”

The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The propositions will be handed over to Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube, who will present and debate them with his counterparts in Cabinet.

The importance of ensuring good health is key to reducing youth vulnerability and to maximising human capital investment.

Some of the draft resolutions that came out of the meeting are access to sexual health and reproductive services, increase of the health allocation to 15 percent of the country’s National Budget in line with the Abuja Declaration.

The resolutions will then be presented as the country commitments at ICPD25 to be held next month in Nairobi, Kenya.