30 000 young people to grace Youth Day celebrations

MORE than 30 000 young people from across the country are expected to converge on Mushagashe Vocational Training Centre in Masvingo tomorrow for the main National Youth Day celebrations.

This year’s celebrations will run under the theme: “Positioning youth empowerment and development towards achieving Vision 2030” and President Mnangagwa will be the guest of honour.

The day is celebrated on February 21 every year and has since been approved to be a national holiday to mark and reflect on issues affecting young people in Zimbabwe.

The national event maintains the principles of effective youth participation and a business forum is slated for today at the venue as a build-up to the celebrations tomorrow.

The business forum will be attended by more than 250 young business entrepreneurs drawn from all economic sectors such as mining, agriculture, ICT, tourism and sport and arts.

Addressing a press conference in Harare yesterday, Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training Minister Tino Machakaire said the event will see youths excelling in various sectors being rewarded by the Government.

“The main purpose of these celebrations is to bring together the Government and young people to engage on the potential of youths to participate in the economy and accelerate the achievement of Vision 2030.

“The day has been identified as an opportune event that the Government should invest in to celebrate with the young people, taking stock of programmes and initiatives to inculcate values that our fore-bearers displayed for national development,” he said.

The venue for the main celebrations was deliberately chosen to showcase the technical ability of youths who were enrolling at vocational training centres and their value in the achievement of the country’s vision of having an upper-middle income economy by 2030.

“Having the celebrations of the day in different provinces will enable youths and the Government to engage in community-specific exchange programmes, provide young people with opportunities for ownership, accountability, responsibility and sustainability of initiatives while leaving no place and no one behind,” Minister Machakaire said.

“Youth in enterprise, universities, colleges, local authorities, businesses, civic organisations and development partners will exhibit their programmes, activities and opportunities for youths.

“The celebrations are crucial as they identify and unlock the socio-economic potential of youths through building the capacity of young people. They also increase awareness, commitment and investment in youth development initiatives, programmes and projects.

“The celebrations help us fulfil our quest to have an informed and empowered youth. They improve social cohesion and socio-economic participation of youths.”

Last year, National Youth Day celebrations were held in Matabeleland North Province.

President Mnangagwa has stressed that all national events will be rotated among the country’s provinces in the spirit of decentralisation and devolution. 

This will allow the national leadership to concentrate its focus on the specific needs of the area hosting the national event.

Tomorrow, youths will also be celebrating the life and achievements of the founding father of Zimbabwe, the late former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe who was born on February 21, 1924.

Several musicians are lined up to provide entertainment to the youths.

Meanwhile, young people are determined to contribute to the country’s economic development agenda and have lobbied the Government and private sector to scale up support towards growing young businesses including a quota system that accommodates youths in the awarding of big tenders.

With thousands of youths taking advantage of numerous opportunities created under the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe is steadily growing its domestic economic base with strides mainly in mining, manufacturing, farming, transport and logistics, tourism and ICTs among other sectors.

While huge opportunities exist for youths to start their businesses and generate income, many believe they could do more for the economy if given adequate support to grow their businesses.

Mr Gabriel Togarepi, who is into mining, said youths had shown the capacity to contribute to economic growth, hence there was a need to avail loans to them.

“As the youth, we have the ideas, but what is lacking is the financial support from banks,” he said.

Miss Nomsa Matangwe from Masvingo said they are geared for the event.

“We are waiting to see the President delivering his keynote address to the youth. I hope issues affecting the youth are going to be addressed,” she said.

Mr Caution Torovei, who is into pig production, said young people were highly versatile and active players in the economy.

“More land should be availed to youths to showcase their capabilities. Youths are technologically savvy hence they need to be given opportunities in agriculture,” he said.


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