President to preside at youth service, empowerment launch

Mukudzei ChingwereHerald Reporter 

President Mnangagwa is next week expected to launch the rebranded National Youth Service and preside over the Youth Empowerment Forum in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, Mashonaland East.

The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training confirmed the event in an advisory yesterday. 

This comes as the Government is on a drive to empower youths by increasing their participation in socio-economic activities.

During the event, President Mnangagwa will interact with youths from various backgrounds and hear their concerns first-hand, in line with his commitment as a listening President .

The Youth Empowerment Forum will run under the theme, “Empower Youths; Secure the Future”.

“It is in light of the above that the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training will host a Youth Empowerment Forum under the theme, ‘Empower Youth; Secure the Future’ as well as launch youth empowerment projects at the Vocational Training Centre and the rebranded National Youth Service in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, Mashonaland East Province.

“This is an area relatively isolated and marginalised from the mainstream national economic hubs such as cities and towns,” said the ministry.

“Zimbabwe is a relatively young country, which is undergoing an ambitious and exciting economic recovery trajectory, aiming to achieve upper middle-income status by 2030. 

“The 2022 Zimstats census indicates that youths make up close to five million of the country’s 15,2 million population. 

“It is estimated that about 240 000 young people who leave the secondary education system annually do not proceed to acquire a higher or tertiary qualification that prepares them for the job market,” said the ministry.

“These young people, without education, skills and employment estimated to be about 2,2million, who join the economic jungle without skills and viable prospects of a decent job or opportunity for enterprise, are classified as marginalised and vulnerable. 

“They are susceptible to committing crime, abusing drugs and substances, indulging in unsafe lifestyles which expose them to sexually transmitted diseases, child marriages, early and unintended pregnancies and/or leaving the country for the diaspora, where they may be abused and suffer xenophobic experiences.”

The major objective of the programme is to promote vocational skills and reduce young people’s vulnerability while increasing their economic participation.

During the launch of the programme, youths will get a platform to engage the President on strategies to unlock socio-economic opportunities. 

Youths will also engage policy makers in key sectors of the economy to harness the youth dividend towards the achievement of Vision 2030.

“Expected outcomes of the event include having empowered youths with increased socio-economic participation,” said the ministry.

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