Young people in the country have bemoaned inadequate representation of the youth in decision making processes especially those from rural settings.
This has been disclosed in Lilongwe during a National Youth Policy Consultation Conference where youth representatives from different districts across the country are reviewing the 2013 National Youth Policy which is phasing out this year.
According to one of the young people Ruth Chavula, it is unfortunate that young from the remotest areas are not reached out with relevant information on the policies that are drafted including the recent one.
“We failed to each to the grassroots level in terms of sharing issues about the policy as reaching to the youth who are in the villages, we didn’t reach them with that kind of information so they didn’t have that clear picture of the policy,” said Chavula.
And on his part, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Deputy Representative Masaki Watabe has appealed to authorities and stakeholders to work out on aspects that empower young people when working on the policies.
“I emphasised that we should be ambitious in this process but also realistic and focused, we need to make sure that young are empowered such that they have access to their services such as SHRS [Sexual Reproductive Health services],” said Watabe.
Meanwhile, Secretary for Youth and Sports Oliver Kumbambe said government will remain committed in ensuring that there is inclusive participation of young people at all decision making processes.
“We take it that if they youths are consulted and if they participate in the formulation of this policy it would be easier to implement because what you are contributing today, tomorrow you would want to see the outcomes of the issues discussed,” said Kumbambe.
During the conference, the youth representatives also discussed inputs for the next youth policy.