Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
African youths have an important role to play in the development of their countries’ economies and should play a role in defending Africa’s territorial integrity.
This was said by President Mnangagwa in a speech read on his behalf by Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri while opening the World Federation of Democratic Youth African Regional Summit in Harare yesterday.
“As youths you have a fundamental role in the development course of all our economies in Africa and indeed in the world,” he said.
“I, therefore, exhort you to play the frontline role in defending Africa’s territorial integrity as well as indigenous knowledge systems. You must be active players in the modernisation and industrialisation agenda of Africa through research, innovation and enterprise development.”
The President challenged the youths to lead in innovation and coming up with strategies to add value to the continent’s abundant natural resources.
“In line with the African Youth Charter, which aims to strengthen, reinforce and consolidate efforts to empower young people through meaningful participation and equal partnerships in driving Africa’s development agenda; I urge you to aggressively search for strategic business partnerships to explore and exploit the various trade and investment opportunities in Africa.
“We have a key role to play in global development and Africa cannot be ignored in the new economic world order,” President Mnangagwa said.
The summit is being attended by youths from 23 African countries and 10 others from outside and was organised by the Zanu-PF Youth League and like-minded organisations.
“I am confident that this summit will broaden your thinking and perspectives towards the realisation of a united and empowered youth.
“It is thus important that you leverage on the peace dividend, the natural resource endowments on the continent as well as the envisaged integrated trade and investment synergies, driven by its own citizens who represent a dynamic force,” President Mnangagwa said.
He urged the youths to be involved in the formulation of policies that enable youth involvement in the political and socio-economic development of their countries.
“Let us recall that in our liberation struggles the youths of yesteryear paid the supreme sacrifices for us to be free from political bondage.
“They are the heroes and heroines we will always cherish and remember for the roles they played for us to gain political independence. It is now time for you our youths to make your own history and be heroes in the new global economic epoch,” he said.
He called on the summit to come up with recommendations that would be communicated to various multilateral institutions in the interest of youths’ development.
“As a listening President, my administration will continue to foster youth development and inclusivity in all spheres of leadership and governance.
“We will ensure that Zimbabwe progressively works towards the attainment of the AU Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals for the benefit of youth and all our people.”