Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Francis Kasaila has said government will create over 17, 000 jobs for the youth with support from the African Development Bank as one way of empowering the youth to actively participate in national development activities.
Kasaila disclosed this Saturday at Milonga Community Technical College in Thyolo when President Peter Mutharika opened the 13th college of that nature in the country.
"Previously, the youth were not regarded as a necessary population in the economy of the country. It is pleasing that the 2018/19 national budget is pro-youth whereby by June next year (2018), a number of programmes targeting the youth will have been implemented," Kasaira said.
He pointed out that the current leadership has deliberately developed programmes aimed at elevating the youth considering that they comprise 60 per cent of the country's population, hence the need to give the grouping prominence.
Kasaila further said government, with support from the African Union will also create over 1,000 decent jobs for the youth.
The minister dismissed assertions that the Community Technical College Initiative was not benefitting the youth, saying to the contrary, it (the initiative) has since helped in youth empowerment such that most graduates have become economically independent.
"As a ministry, we will live the vision of the country's leadership to ensure that there is a technical college in each and every district," he said, disclosing that the European Union and the Chinese Government have pledged to construct 10 and five community colleges respectively.
Reacting to claims by critics that government's construction of stadiums was not supposed to be prioritized, Kasaila said sports has become a lucrative business with some athletes accumulating a lot of wealth through sports and in the process becoming billionaires.
"In fact, if the Presidency were to make a declaration that there should be a stadium in each and every district in the country, we would not hesitate to support such a directive because of the impact it would have on our youth," he emphasized.
Kasaila, therefore, commended government through President Mutharika for creating a favourable environment for the youth. He said they are now able to actively participate in various socio-economic activities, thereby contributing to national growth.
Member of Parliament for Thyolo East, Gerson Solomon, hailed government for fulfilling its manifesto promise by constructing Milonga Community Technical College, saying the youth in his constituency would acquire technical and vocational skills relevant to the development of the area and the district as a whole.
"It is a known fact that the youth are the most vulnerable group in society, yet the most productive age group, it is therefore, the duty of government to provide meaningful opportunities to the youth," the legislator said.
Speaking on behalf of the youth in the country, Chimwemwe Mwenyemasi, an awardee of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation's Innovations Awards, encouraged the youth to embrace President Mutharika's three developmental pillars of integrity, patriotism and hard work.
"We all need to change the way we think and avoid petty jealousy," Mwenyemasi said. "As youth, we have a very important role to play in taking the country to prosperity taking advantage of the numbers and the energy we have," he added.