President headlines National Youth Day celebrations President Mnangagwa

Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter

President Mnangagwa will be with youths at the national youth indaba on drug and substance abuse in Lupane during the National Youth Day celebrations, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said yesterday.

Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, the minister noted that Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day is celebrated every year on February 21 to recognise youth, and to reflect on their contributions to socio-economic development and encourage them to adopt sound leadership values by emulating the ethos espoused by national liberators since independence.

This year’s event is aimed at raising awareness to keep youths away from society’s ills of drug and substance abuse.

As authorities grapple with the need to end drug abuse, Government has quickly moved in to ensure that all youth’s engagements carry the message of discouraging drug abuse.

“Cabinet advises that youth in Zimbabwe account for 35 percent of the population and remain the most active asset to the nation and if harnessed correctly stand to contribute immensely to the economic development of the country,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“The youth day has been identified as an event that Government should invest in to celebrate youth and together with the young people to take stock of programmes and initiatives to inculcate values that the said fore-bearers display for national development.

“Launching celebrations and decentralising National Youth Day will enable youth and Government to engage in community specific change programmes, providing young people with ownership, accountability, responsibility and sustainability of initiatives.

“It should be highlighted that the proposed awards for excelling youth in various sectors will encourage and improve the recognition of the work of the youth hence attracting more youths to serve their communities positively,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She advised the nation that to launch the National Youth Celebrations, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in collaboration with other Government Ministries will host a National Youth Indaba on drug and substance abuse in Lupane.

“The indaba which will be graced by His Excellency the President will bring together about 5 000 youths from all provinces of the country,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“The youths will engage the executive on drug and substance abuse, while seeking to evaluate progress on the commitment Government has made to mitigate against drug and substance abuse in their provinces.

“The programme will start at 8am and end at 2pm. Each province is expected to host a Youth Indaba that will bring approximately 500 youths and delegates.

“The indaba would be used to engage local community leaders, business and development partners to reflect on the extent of drug and substance abuse in their communities, map partners carrying out mitigation measures against drug and substance abuse, engaging local authorities and business sector on opportunities locally available for economic participation of youth,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

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