The Youth Decide Campaign (YD-2019) is next week scheduled to engage Malawi’s presidential candidates to obtain their official commitment to fostering youth-led agenda in their campaigns and beyond the May 21 Tripartite Elections by endorsing the pro-youth policy document known as the Youth Manifesto.
Executive Director for Youth and Society Charles Kajoloweka whose organization is leading the nationwide (YD-2019) Campaign disclosed this in an interview in Mzuzu on Wednesday.
“So we are now going across the country to ensure that we have an issue-based campaign and those issues are in the Youth Manifesto at the same time, we are also in the process of engaging the presidential candidates to seek their official endorsement of the national Youth Manifesto and this process will start next week,” Kajoloweka said.
According to Kajoloweka, this Saturday, the YD-2019 Campaign brings the Youth Manifesto awareness campaigns to Mzuzu City with the hope of ensuring that young people in Mzuzu are not left behind on the urgent youth-related policy issues that candidates in the May 21 Polls are expected to advance.
“We launched the youth manifesto on the 10th, we are currently disseminating the Youth Manifesto across the Districts across Malawi. We started with Chitipa, last week we were in Rumphi and this weekend we are in four Districts including Mzuzu, Kasungu, Lilongwe and Zomba,” Kajoloweka said.
But an unemployed 20 year-old mother and school dropout from Chibanja in Mzuzu, Mercy Mphande, suggested that improving education standards in townships such as Chibanja in Mzuzu should also be a youth-cantered priority for candidates contesting in the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Said Mphande: “For example the school here in Chibanja, at Chibanja Primary children sit on the bare floor when learning. The councillors can make a choice to bring desks to create a favourable learning environment.”
The relevance of the National Youth Manifesto in influencing National policy will, however, only be known by the performance of Malawi’s political leaders on youth-related development indicators between 2019 and 2024.
The YD-2019 Campaign is being implemented by a consortium of other NGOs including; Network for Youth Development (NfYD), Youth Politicians Union and Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO).