Youth Leadership, the Springboard in Youth Development

Young people are the backbone of institutions and have the capacity to change the dynamics so as to have new paradigm shifts in their societies and localities. Youths are nation’s strength; their characteristic energy and capabilities enable them to change the dynamics of their societies. They also form a sensitive age group that harbours dreams for important social changes. The development of nations is fully dependent on the abilities, strength and skills sets of the youths. The power of youths in leadership must be positively invested in all areas like health, education, technology, business, and trade, coupled with moral value education to spread peace and welfare throughout the country.

According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act 2013 Section 20, the youths are defined as people between the ages of 15-35 years; guided by Africa Youth Charter for which Zimbabwe is a signatory. As stated above, any country’s social, economic and political terrain is defined and determined by the youths, more so in the case of Zimbabwe where youths make 67.7% of the population. It is however important to note that, most youths faces many challenges in accessing  influential positions of power  in all sectors of the country, that is, economic, social and political spheres.

Due to these challenges faced by youths in accessing influential and strategic positions in the developmental issues that affect their day to day lives, it is important to create strong partnerships between the youths, national institutions and youth representing agencies in order to archive the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These SDGs cannot be archived when youths are excluded in the implementation process, because youths are the future leaders, hence the need to incorporate the youths to fill in the gaps that could arise after the current leaders have left their positions of power.

Capacitated with the requisite skills sets, youths are agents of positive change in different aspects of socio-economic and political spheres. The striking feature of today`s youths is that they are critical thinkers and innovators, thus giving them the ability to solve most of worlds challenges using the innovative means. It is therefore the responsibility of national government to craft policies that protects and guarantees the free participation of the youths in issues that affect them, that is, from policy formulation to implementation processes.

 SAYWHAT is in partnership with diverse development partners to strengthen the competencies of students and young people to meaningfully represent themselves in SRH advocacy. SAYWHAT programming values the centrality and importance of students including young people’s leadership in all discourse to generate responses and evaluate interventions which are designed to contribute to young people’s positive health outcomes.

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