National Youth Service returns . . . Govt moves to instil nation-building ethos Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere (second from left), Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Nick Mangwana (left), Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Barbara Rwodzi (second from right) and Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training Minister Tino Machakaire (right) exchange notes after the post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Edward Zvemisha.

Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter

The national youth service programme has been relaunched and will resume this June, with an initial enrolment of 750 youths drawn from all provinces. 

Renamed the Youth Service in Zimbabwe (YSZ), the six months training programme is set to train thousands of youths.

Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere announced this yesterday during a post-Cabinet media briefing session in Harare.

The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training Tino Machakaire had briefed Cabinet on the programme’s re-establishment.

YSZ comes as the Government moves to inculcate a culture of service, constructive participation of youths in nation-building activities and the need to keep youths away from societal ills such as drug and substance abuse resulting from idleness.

Dr Muswere said since the Cabinet decision in 2021 to re-establish the national youth service programme, some progress has been registered by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training.

“Achievements to date include the National Youth Service Bill being drafted following the approval of the principles in August 2023 and the development of a six-month training programme which will target youths between the ages of 18 and 35.

“The programme, which covers three months of institutionalised training and three months of community attachment, will commence in June 2024 with an enrolment of 750 youths across the country. Those who undergo the training will be issued with certificates on completion of the programme.

“The national youth service programme has been renamed Youth Service in Zimbabwe and 10 000 youths are earmarked to undergo training in 2024.

“The youths will be drawn equally from all the country’s ten provinces. The recruitment will be cascaded to incorporate youths in all wards and districts and the new curriculum will infuse national orientation with life skills training and entrepreneurial development.

“New uniforms, signage and logo have been designed and will be registered and all production units are expected to fully use available land and engage in commercial production units for self-sustenance,” said Dr Muswere.

Dr Muswere said an Inter-Ministerial Implementation Committee to oversee the implementation of the programme had been established.

Going forward, said Dr Muswere, youths who complete training will receive priority in employment and enrolment into the public sector and higher and tertiary education institutions, and will be prioritised for financial support to establish new projects and businesses.

The National Youth Service was introduced to inculcate a culture of service by supporting youth to participate constructively in nation building activities and to inject in young people an understanding of their role in the promotion of civic awareness, among other critical facets.

National Youth Service has been rolled out in most countries including Namibia, Kenya, Nigeria and many other countries in Europe and Asia.

In Nigeria, they say the programme is aimed at involving graduates in nation-building and national development.

In Kenya, National Youth Service was established in 1964 to train young people in important national matters such as paramilitary and regimentation, national building programmes and technical and vocational training in various skills and trades.

In Namibia they say it is aimed at instilling discipline among youths, inculcating a sense of patriotism and developing the youth into individuals with physical and mental endurance, exemplary moral and ethical character and integrity.

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