The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Malawi country officials dated the Youth and Sports Minister Honourable Richard Chimwendo Banda in his office today with an objective to appreciate the ministerial leadership undertaken to develop young people in the country
UNFPA Malawi Officer-In-Charge Miranda Tabifor told the Minister in a brief meeting they had that her UN agency made a commitment to continue working with the Government of Malawi and more particularly with the Ministry of Youth and Sports so that they together meet the developmental aspirations in the Agenda 2030 and the Malawi Vision 2063 (MW2063).
In her brief remarks, the UN country chief- who will wind up her duties in the country within the next three months expressed concern on the low implementation rate of the programmes that are aimed at developing young people who are now in majority in the country.
However, she reasoned with Minister Chimwendo Banda that there is need for stakeholders to re-interrogate their efforts and change the narrative that is there for the youth in the country.
She said: “The youth are the leaders of today. We should stop bringing so many young people in youth forums without action. We should change our way of programming. Together we can change the narrative and re-interrogate ourselves. Let us change it and change that narrative once and forever. The young people’s agenda in Malawi should change.”
His Excellency President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera appointed Honourable Chimwendo Banda as the new and second Minister for Youth and Sports (in his administration) in February this year. This was the first meeting THE Minister had with top notch officials from UNFPA.
In his remarks, the Minister told the visiting officials that what they brought on his table is what he has been thinking about and what he what he wants to see being done.
According to the Minister, issues of young people in Malawi are not being prioritized, hence the need to change the programming and the narrative which is there against the youthful generation.
He further highlighted that in order for Malawi to achieve the aspirations in the MW2063 and the Agenda 2030 there is a need to advocate and lobby for increased funding for implementation of programmes that target young people in the country.
He said: “Young people are not prioritized whether either at district or community level. That is the reason why I have been saying that we should not be having too many youth conferences without action. We need to advocate and lobby for increased funding and we must have an affirmative way of trying to lobby and influence the budget for youth programmes… Everybody must be accountable.
The National Statics Office Housing and Population Census (2019) report highlight that over 50 of the population in the country are youth. According to Honourable Banda,
these are the people that need to be prioritized at a time the country is implementing the MW2063.