By Watmore Makokoba
As roads lead to Abidjan Cote D’Ivoire for the EU and African Union Summit scheduled for the 29th to 30th of November this year, youths say they want to be prioritised during the high-level summit’s deliberations.
In an effort to engage youth on their expectations and possible input for the summit, the National Youth Association Organisation and Open Space organised an engagement platform at Moto Republik themed “Youth up Zimbabwe”.
The engagement platform which was attended by EU Ambassador and several youth organisations came up with several key issues that need to be prioritised at the summit.
Below is a list of some of the issues that the youth say need urgent prioritization going forward.
- Lack of sound governmental policy framework that promotes effective youths participation in national development issues
- Young women still lag behind it terms accessing relevant wellbeing services such as sanitary pads, information on HIV/Aids and career opportunities
- The “leaders of tomorrow attitude” has left youths as spectators rather than participants in governance and developmental issues.
- Unemployment: most of the youths in Zimbabwe who are graduates are on the streets as vendors as government has failed to come up with economic policies that ensure job creation
- Lack of Information: The youths are full of ideas but they lack information on how they can turn their potential into action.
- Youths are not afforded the opportunity to be part of the formulation process of policies that are about them, this is hindering their full participation in socio-political and economic development
Summing up after the event EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Philippe Van Damme said “If only the government of Zimbabwe understood how much ideas and creativity pop up from the youth, it would create more spaces for ideas exchange”
With a few days to go before the summit kicks off, the onus is upon every youth especially in Africa to ensure the Abidjan deliberations capture their concerns; otherwise, every youth will be left behind in the spheres of development