President Lazarus Chakwera has said there is need for the country’s youth to be economically empowered if the country is to develop.
Chakwera made the remarks in Neno on Tuesday afternoon when he presided over the launch of the National Youth Service Programme.
The National Youth Service Programme is one of Chakwera’s campaign promises which aims at empowering the youths through skills development as well as access to financial capital.
Speaking after launching the programme at Neno Integrated Youth Centre, Chakwera said a vibrant youth society is key to the country’s social economic development.
“Today, I am extremely excited that I stand here to launch this initiative which is one of my campaign promises. This programme signifies our serious commitment towards youth development. Time has come for our young people to be economically independent and stop relying on handouts from politicians,” said Chakwera attracting cheers from the visibly excited young people that gathered at Chikonde Primary School ground where the Malawi leader addressed a rally after officially launching the programme.
The Malawi leader observed that for the programme to succeed there is need for the formulation of sustainable structures that would sustain the project beyond a certain period.
Meanwhile the Malawi leader has disclosed that government has entered into a partnership with a foreign company that will be paying school fees for over 28000 needy secondary school leaners in the country.
“As we launch this programme today allow me to reveal to you that we have also entered into a partnership with a foreign company that will be financing secondary education for over 28000 learners and of those 28000 top ten best performing students across the country will have their tertiary education paid for by the same foreign company. All this simply signifies our commitment towards youth development,” said Chakwera.
Speaking earlier Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda thanked Chakwera for fulfilling one of his campaign promises which was youth empowerment.
“Your Excellency many thought that the youth empowerment promise was just a gimmick to woo voters from the youth but here we are launching it three years to another election. Had it been that you wanted this promise to woo voters from the youth then this launch could have been reserved to 2024 with just months to go before another election. But by having this initiative launched today it shows that you really have the werfare of the country’s youths at heart,” said Chimwendo Banda.
Speaking on behalf of the programme’s beneficiaries, Bright Khungwa expressed his excitement at the programme but was quick to appeal to the president to order the National Youth Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) to consider revising some of its conditions for one to obtain a loan.
“Mr President Sir this country has capable hardworking young people who if fully utilised can immensely contribute to the country’s development but our main challenge is access to financial capital. My humble appeal on behalf of my fellow youths is for you to order NEEF to consider revising some of its collateral conditions.
“Most of us here are coming from our parent’s homes but you find that when you want to apply for a NEEF loan you are told to surrender title deeds of some property as collateral. where do they think I will get tittle deeds of an established plot let alone a car? We feel this is a hindering factor to many deserving young people,” said Khungwa.
The government of Malawi already approved MK3.2 billion for the first phase of the National Youth Service programme which is targeting 20,000 youths to be trained in various sectors.