By James Mwale
Lilongwe, August 20, Mana: Government has unveiled a five-point strategy that focuses on resuscitating and updating pro-youth and sports development policies that have been passive in the recent years in continued efforts to effect a pro-active youth society.
Minister of Sports and Youth, Ulemu Msungama made the disclosure in Lilongwe on Thursday where he was briefing journalists on the initiatives taken by his ministry in the past one-and-a-half months, and plans for the “nearest possible future”.
Among the points in the strategy is revival of the National Youth Policy to guide aspirations of the youths who, according to Msungama, cannot focus decisively in the absence of an updated policy.
“I understand the Youth Policy expired in 2018 and you all know as I do that this is a very key document that has to be in place as soon as yesterday. We cannot talk about youth development without a policy to guide us,” explained the minister.
He also disclosed plans to review and update the 1996 National Youth Council Act, a legal framework which he says can best support the youths’ aspirations if updated to suit the current situation.
To help bring the youth together in an environment that allows them to share ideas and learn from each other, Msungama revealed plans to construct Achinyamata Center, a place where the youths can converge and comfortably call home.
“I want to make sure the youth have their own purpose-built center where they can develop their skills,” said Msungama adding that the Achinyamata Center will be part of District Youth Centers across the districts.
He also talked of updating the obsolete National Sports Policy saying the country cannot talk of sports development without a clear guiding tool.
The Minister further talked of establishment of Sports Commercialisation Strategy to ease reliance of sports affiliates of the Council on “government subvention”.
He said: “I want to assure you that no country has developed sports by just relying on government. Sports is developed by companies and private institutions when it is run as a business and we cannot do that in Malawi currently as there is no strategy to take us there.”
He has since said he will be working with the Sports Council to make sure each affiliate has an established secretariat.
He, therefore, advised committee members running associations to have vision and dreams to develop sports.