The Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection says as Zambia commemorates this year’s Youth Day, the Zambian youth faces numerous challenges which include, high unemployment, limited opportunity to access and attain tertiary education and to participate in decision-making processes.
JCTR Programmes Officer for Social Economic Development Innocent Ndashe says the challenges youths continue to face have robbed the majority of them an opportunity to contribute to the social and economic development of the country.
Mr. Ndashe noted that the numbers of students that progress from junior secondary school level of education to higher secondary school level has remained low, estimated at 50 percent.
He said this is primarily because the current development policies and their implementation have failed to contribute positively to addressing the needs of the Zambian youth.
Mr. Ndashe said government and other players in development must carry out self-introspection to establish and urgently address the cause of youth unproductivity, marginalization and despondency.
He said the current situation should not be allowed to continue and to be viewed as normal as it has and continues to deprive the youth an opportunity to live fulfilled and dignified human existence where they are able to realise their full potential in life and to contribute constructively to the society and to national development because the negative consequences have been immense.
Mr. Ndashe said the consequences include subjecting the youth to living in unsuitable conditions, limiting their ability to afford adequate income to enable them afford basic needs and to fully, actively and consciously participate in decision making.
He has since urged government to take stock of its development policies to ensure that it prioritizes investment in youth development and economic empowerment.
Mr. Ndashe said one of the ways of addressing the needs of the youth in this country is by stopping rampant mismanagement of public funds to avoid wastage and to channel such resources towards job creation.
He has also called on the general citizenry, especially the youth to actively get involved in holding the government and other duty bearers accountable.
Current youth unemployment levels have been estimated in the range of 10.5 to 15.4 percent.
This year’s youth day will be commemorated under the theme “Zambian Youth; Generation Unlimited”.