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50 youths in Balaka to acquire skills in policy analysis

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By Mary Makhiringa

At least 50 youths from Balaka will undergo a skills and knowledge training in policy analysis and advocacy at the local government level, thanks to Springs of Hope, a youthful organisation in the district.

Briefing the District Executive Committee (DEC) on Friday, Founder and Executive Director of Springs of Hope, Kumbukani Mamba said as an organisation, they noted that there is limited participation of the youth in decision making process; hence, the inception of the project.

Said Mamba: “African Union youth chapter emphasizes on youth participation, but currently policies lack youth inclusivity, thus we seek to implement the project focusing on training and capacity building.”

“In the end, we would like to see an improved youth participation in policy issues who will in turn take part in policy analysis and formulation,” he said.

Mamba observed that with the youth making the majority of Malawi’s population, it is an error to sideline them in crucial issues and that this negatively effects how the nation moves forward as the youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow.

According to Mamba, all young men and women below the age of 35 and have a Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) are eligible to apply for the training opportunity once the window opens.

Balaka District Youth Officer, Godfrey Mpinganjira described the approach as positive, saying youth involvement in decision making is one of the priority areas in the National Youth Policy.

“One of the approaches that we also get involved in this priority area is advocacy and definitely this project is the way to go.

“We’ve noted that most of the young people do not understand policies including their own youth policy, that is why this project is talking about involving them on how policies are developed and how they are disseminated in addition to how the policies can assist them in terms of development,” he said.

McDonald Ngwira, a youthful resident of Balaka described the project as timely, noting that it will help most young people know policy issues.

“We will soon go into campaign for elections and most of the times our politicians do not include the youth in their manifestos, this capacity building will go a long way in equipping us to be vigilant in demanding explanations on how some of the things are run,” he said.

The project is being financed by the National Democratic Institute to the tune of K25 million.

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