Mainstreaming Youth Issues In Relevant National Policies and Strategies | A roundtable discussion

Background

In January 2021, the Malawi Government launched the youth-centric national vision, Malawi 2063 (MW2063), which is Malawi’s long-term development blueprint packaging the aspirations of Malawians for national development.

This has been followed by the launch of the Malawi 2063 first 10-year implementation plan (MIP-1) which is a framework that will kickstart Malawi’s journey to an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation by the year 2063.

It is therefore expected that all sectoral policies, strategies and plans of the Malawi government will be aligned to the new vision and the MIP-1. Considering the importance of the youth in the implementation of this vision, it is important to ensure that youth issues are reflected in all sectoral policies and strategies.

In view of this, the National Planning Commission with support from the UNICEF plans to organize a Panel Discussion with the youth, to enable them speak by themselves to ensure youth issues are mainstreamed in all national policies.

Rationale

Malawi has a youthful population, with 51% of its people under the age of 18years. This presents a greater opportunity for Malawi to advance its socio-economic and political aspirations.

To date, much as Malawi has made some strides in its development journey with improvement in maternal and mortality rates, HIV and AIDS, Primary school enrolment among other achievement, challenges especially among the youths still exist which can make Malawi fail to yield the greater returns of a sustainable development.

These include issues/challenges that affect the well-being of the youths related to various sectoral and/or strategic policies such as in health where we still have issues of nutrition where most children have a stunted growth, inadequate access to proper health care package, including sexual reproductive health services, high primary school dropout especially in the upper grades and low secondary and tertiary education enrolment, lack of job opportunities leading to high unemployment rates and low access to financial services (i.e. affordable loans) for business development, leaving the youth less empowered to participate in various aspects of socio-economic development.

These issues require serious attention and action in the long-term for Malawi to achieve sustainable development. With actionable and timely interventions that are specifically targeted towards the youths, Malawi can realize the benefits of a demographic dividend. This can, however, only happen if all the stakeholders in Malawi take an active role and commit to have youth targeted policies and strategies that are not just a blue print but are practical and fully involve the youths in their planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

The development and launch of the long-term development agenda, the MW2063, with its implementation framework, the MIP-1, provides Malawi with the opportunity to properly target the youth by ensuring that all sectoral policies and plans are aligned to this youth centric vision, the MW2063 and the MIP-1.

It also calls for action to ensure that those policy interventions are properly coordinated through the development of the MW2063 pillar enabler coordination groups, the timely implementation and monitoring of these interventions and the full involvement of the youths themselves.

The panel discussion will allow the youth to discuss issues that are affecting them as highlighted in the MW2063/MIP-1 and propose solutions from their perspective for the attention of all stakeholders particularly policy holders/decision makers. The panel discussion will help mobilize stakeholders and policy holders and bring to their attention the youth issues.

Objective of the Task

The objectives of the Panel Discussion are:

  • To help raise awareness on relevant policy related issues concerning the youth as highlighted in the MW2063 and MIP-1 for the attention of all stakeholders and propose solutions to the issues.
  • To provide for the youth to interface with the decision makers to seek solutions responses to their issues and possible changes in the relevant policies.

Approach

This will be a physical round table panel discussion where the youths will interface with the Decision makers in the presence of the audience (both physical and hybrid) on the key issues affecting youth’s participation in development activities and proposed solutions to those issues. Prior to the Panel Discussion, a virtual meeting will be organized with relevant stakeholders’ representatives from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Youth Council (NYCOM), NPC, Youth Core Advisory Panel (CAP) and UNICEF.

Among other things, the meeting will identify Topical issues affecting the youth with regard to issues highlighted in the MW2063 and MIP-1. From the topical issues the participants will agree on specific topic(s) for discussion.

Thereafter, prospective panelist which will include the youth and decision makers relevant to the identified topic of discussion will be identified and engaged to be part of the panel discussion. Specific efforts will also be made to ensure inclusion of students from universities as panelist(s). A number of key media houses will be invited to cover the event and this will be broadcasted in their various radio/TV stations as well as printed in the newspapers.


The panel discussion will be conducted within half a day at Crossroads Hotel Lilongwe the 11th of January 2021. I will be facilitating the conversation, in conversation with some policy makers and some young entrepreneurs.

You may join us via this meeting ID on Zoom using the link below:

Join the meeting online

See you on Tuesday!

All my love,

Ntha

Connect with me on social media. Let’s stay in touch.

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