Every 12th Day of March Zambian youths from all walks of life commemorate the international Youth day, a day meant to give government and other stakeholders an opportunity to focus their attention on issues affecting the Youths.
Over the years, the Youths day has continued to lose its significance because instead of using the special day to propose, discuss and effect tangible and practical solutions to the numerous challenges facing the Youth, successive governments have reduced this day to march pasts and feeding the Youth with meaningless themes and empty rhetorical statements which do not address their plight.
It is against this background that as FDD we wish to submit to the government and the nation at large that we find practical solutions on how we can fight poverty, ignorance, disease, violence, unemployment, lack of empowerment, lack of equality and accessible education among our youths in the country.
To our Youths it should be borne in their mind that it will take nothing but their active participation in the governance of this country to effectively deal with the numerous challenges they are facing. Youths should reclaim their rightful place as the change agents as no one will change their situation but Youths themselves.
Youths should reclaim their rightful place as the change agents as no one will change their situation but Youths themselves
As a Party we attach great importance to the development of the Youth in our country because a well educated, healthy and vibrant youth forms the basis and foundation of economic development for any nation.
We are aware that the needs and challenges of the Youth are not homogeneous, they vary according to their education, talents,ambition, interests, location , economic status, physical and so on hence we understand that there is no universal solution to their problems. However, we know that it will take nothing less than education, good health and equal opportunities to resolve these problems.
First and foremost there is need for the country to heavily invest in quality and affordable education. A type of education that does not enslave our Youths in the white the collar syndrome but an education which motivates and equip them to unleash and maximise their natural gifts and potential.
There is need to introduce in our school system life survival skills, entrepreneurship, leadership and financial management training as opposed to the current system which is too bookish and less practical hence does not prepare our children for the real world.
Is it not a shame that 50 years after independence we as a country import everything from cornflakes, toothpicks, tissue to peanut butter?
Furthermore, the country needs to invest in manufacturing and processing industries to ensure value addition to our raw materials. This will create jobs and increase foreign exchange. Is it not a shame that 50 years after independence we as a country import everything from cornflakes, toothpicks, tissue to peanut butter?
As a country we have to identify and categorize Youths according to their skills and talents. For those involved in entrepreneurship we need to train them and equip them with tools and capital to grow their businesses. Empowering Youths with Youth empowerment money on the basis of Party affiliation without providing them with adequate training in their area of interest and financial literacy has and will continue leading to abuse of the empowerment funds. So far over 60 percent of all the Youths who accessed these funds have failed to repay the loans.
As FDD we believe that establishing viable and transparent Youth exchange programs will expose the Zambian Youth to the experiences of other countries which can help him/her to understand the global world we are living in today.
Lastly, Political Parties should have affirmative action plans that ensures that more Youths are adopted as candidates in elections. We need more Youths in Parliament, Councils and the Executive wing of government as well as other institutions of influence and power.
Arise the Zambian Youth. You are the change you have been waiting for.
Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) Spokesperson.