Each year on 12th August, the world commemorates the International Youth Day (IYD). The day was set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness and reflect on issues affecting young people worldwide.
Malawi will this year again join the rest of the world in commemorating the International Youth Day under the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.
The theme seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and
engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
Further, the theme seeks to highlight to stakeholders that youth engagement is about involving youth in responsible and challenging actions that meets genuine needs of young people.
The Government of Malawi recognises the important role young people can play in changing the development discourse of the country. The National Youth Policy, the national youth development blueprint has specific provisions that promote Youth Participation, Leadership and Engagement. The national youth development blueprint further provides for the establishment of youth participation structures and platforms at all levels.
Such structures include Traditional Authority Youth Networks, District Youth Networks, National Youth Network, Youth Clubs and Youth Organizations.
Additionally, guidelines on Local Government Systems in Malawi have provisions on the inclusion of young people in all local structures such as Area Development Committees and Village Development Committees.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports together with the National Youth Council of Malawi would like to issue a call to action to all stakeholders implementing youth development programs to among others:
- Create spaces for youth in decision making positions and structures;
- Promote inclusive youth participation and engagement in all decision-making processes to ensure that youth voices are acknowledged, heard, implemented and acted upon;
- Support youth led initiatives through vibrant mentorship, apprenticeship and internship programs;
- Create deliberate programs to ensure participation of young people with disability including Adolescent Girls and Young Women. In line with COVID 19 guidelines, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Youth Council will organise a series of virtual activities in
commemoration of the International Youth Day, spread across the entire month of August.