EU urges Malawi to invest in youth

The European Union (EU) says the country owes it to the next generation to invest in skills training and education for young people so that they should have the skills to build a better future.

European Union Commissioner for International Partnership Jutta Urpilainen made the remarks during a Joint Conference on Youth Employment in Malawi conducted on Tuesday at BICC in Lilongwe.

Kandodo (L) and Chilima (2nd left)

Jutta said that youth are the present and future and are the ones who will accomplish tomorrow what the country dreams of today.

She added that the ambitious initiative to create one million jobs for Malawians within one year is important.

“It is time we say goodbye to a past where young people without skills are trapped in informal economy work, the wind of change has started blowing.

“There is strong political vision to carve out a new future. A future where we will be strong together. A new future where we give youth every opportunity they deserve to build the world they will live in tomorrow,” she said.

On his part, Vice President Saulos Chilima observed that while the social and economic importance of the youth is nationally acknowledged in strategic documents, Malawi’s youth sector remains maligned both in terms of political status and fiscal priority in budgetary allocations.

“In an environment where the education system is predominantly tilted towards preparing graduates for white collar employment, economic stagnation or jobless economic growth have resulted in growing youth disillusionment and despondency about their economic prospects.

“However, these are the issues that are at the heart of some of us and through His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic, we will ensure that our youths have jobs, are supported with business opportunities as well as acquire vocational skills,” said Chilima.

Minister of Labour Ken Kandodo said that the Ministry will come up with a job creation strategy in order to have clear picture of challenges that are holding back the job creation initiative.

Kandodo added that the ministry will develop a labour market development system that will capture employment data in companies and government departments.

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