Youths Migration Worries Zim Government

Government has expressed concern over the migration of youths to other countries in search of greener pastures saying a national youth policy is needed to ensure young people fully participate in the country’s economic development.

Speaking at the Strategic Program 3 decent jobs for rural youth in Southern Africa capacity development workshop held in the capital on Tuesday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth ,Indigestion and Economic Empowerment, Dr Desire Sibanda said they are driving the process of developing a national youth policy aimed at ensuring that young people fully participate in all sectors of the economy.

“My Ministry drove the process of developing a National Youth Policy that seeks to ensure that young people participate fully in all sectors.

“The policy takes a multi-sectoral approach,however importance of the agriculture sector is an essential element in the strategies for poverty eradication and economic integration.

“The policy identifies five key areas, that is the importance of training youths in agricultural production using contemporary systems and modern information and communications technology to gain access to existing and new markets,paying special attention to young women living with disabilities,” said Sibanda.

“The facilitation of access to credit to promote youth participation in agricultural projects,the fourth relates to the centrality of education and skills development programs,geared towards wealth creation,socioeconomic integration and empowerment.

“Lastly,the policy seeks to enhance the attractiveness of rural areas to young people by improving socio-economic infrastructure and access to services,” added Sibanda.

He further noted that government was committed to reduce the migration of youths to other countries adding that they are the most affected by challenges currently facing the country, “Zimbabwe is relatively young considering that over 40% of Zimbabweans are under the age of 24.

“The challenges facing Zimbabwe disproportionately affect young people yet the potential of these 4.8 million young people individually and as a group is astonishing.

“In this regard increased youth livelihoods can drive economic growth ,fighting unemployment and reducing the number of young people migrating to other counties in search of work and much is being done to reduce that,” said Sibanda.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Senior Programme Advisor, Strategic Programme on Rural Poverty Reduction, Peter Wobst said at least 10 million additional jobs are needed every year to absorb the new entrants into the labor market.

“We are all realizing that the true rural transformation cannot be accomplished in Africa without empowering the youth as actors of change. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the youngest population in the world: over 60% of a total population of 960 million is below the age of 24.

“That means that at least 10 million additional jobs are needed every year to absorb the new entrants into the labor market.

“Moreover, given SSA’s high fertility rates, the youth population is expected to continue to grow in the next decades, more than doubling from current levels by 2055,” he said.

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