By Raphael Likaka
Zomba City Council has pledged to construct a youth technical vocational and recreation centre to allow young people in the city advance their aspirations as the council has observed that the absence of a youth centre is a setback to young people’s socio-economic empowerment.
Zomba City Council, Acting Chief Executive, Fred Nankuyu made the commitment during an interface meeting with representatives of young people after complaints that the absence of a youth centre is having a negative impact on young people’s social and economic empowerment.
Nankuyu said the council was aware of the various problems affecting the young people in the city and he assured them that council will discuss the concern to find solutions, saying constructing a vocational centre would be the ideal way to address some of the problems the young people are facing.
“We will discuss this further with the city Mayor and Member of Parliament for. Zomba Central to find solutions to this,” said Nankuyu.
The acting Chief Executive Officer added that the vocational and recreational centre will help to explore young people’s potential that will make them self-reliant and active players in the economy.
He therefore asked the youths to be patient, saying construction of a vocational and youth recreation centre is a big project that requires huge investment.
“Constructing a vocational and youth recreational centre demands a lot of financial resources but as a council we will make sure to address some of the problems by construct the center,” said the Acting Chief Executive.
Member of Parliament for Zomba City Central, Bester Awali, said he and councilors in the Zomba City will make sure that the young people are accorded an opportunity for the centre.
“As parliamentarian for this area, l will make sure that we construct the center,” said Awali, adding that the young people’s concerns are genuine and need to be addressed with urgency.
The parliamentarian added that he will take the issue to parliament for deliberation.
A representative of the young people, Clement Malikebu, observed that many young people finished secondary and tertiary education but have no vocational skills to make them relevant in this technological era.
He said the young people decided to engage the Zomba City Council after observing that they have potential to contribute to the national economy if given opportunities to acquire vocational and recreational skills.
Malikebu added that vocational and recreational centers will distract the young people from alcohol and drug abuse, saying the centre will motivate them to concentrate on entrepreneurship.
The representatives of young people came from ten wards within the Zomba City.