Vendors launch youth development policy.

Vendors launch youth development policy.

Michael Ndiweni

By Letwin Mubonesi

The Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) has launched a youth development policy document which seeks to support youth development initiatives in Bulawayo.

The policy came at a time when a majority of youths around the country are unemployed and do not have access to means of production making them socially and economically excluded and vulnerable to poverty and depression.

BVTA director, Michael Ndiweni said the youth population was estimated at 67, 7% but most of them were unemployed.

“It is pertinent to develop policies that respond to the needs of young people as a measure of revitalising and empowering their self-development, and community development among the youth.

Empowering youths creates conditions for limiting demographic inequality and exclusion.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is transforming the type of work people do, how it is done and general lifestyles. Equipping youths to tap into the 4IR opportunities creates desirable conditions for further exploitation of new media to amplify urgency and advocacy on youth issues and wider communities’ development,” he said.

He added that the policy document arose from the need to have programming principles and awareness to identify clear goals and objectives to support youth development through mainstreaming and integrating youth issues across initiatives and processes in Bulawayo and the nation at large.

“Through active participation, young people are empowered to play a role in their own development as well as in that of their communities. Youth participation is important because if excluded and not empowered, young people fail to reach their potential, such as acquiring gainful stable employment and contributing to community development,” he said.

Ndiweni added that, “The multiplicity of sectors and policies that influence youth development outcomes, the diversity among youth should consider not just their needs and aspirations, but also systems and processes that halt their development.

“The policy encourages and promotes youth-led organisations and the important role they play in supporting young people’s civic engagement, capacity-building and providing non-formal education through financial and technical support and promotion of their activities.”

Ndiweni said the policy sought to strengthen participation and inclusion of young persons with disabilities in decision-making processes on an equal basis with others.

Nyari Mashayamombe

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