Friday, 29 September 2017

Youth Minister Kasaila engages Youth Council

Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development minister Mr. Francis Kasaila Thursday 28 September, 2017 met with National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM) staff at the Bingu wa Mutharika International Convention Center (BICC) in Lilongwe in the first interaction between the two sides since the Minister was appointed to his current portfolio.

Speaking following presentations from the Youth Council, the Minister observed that the empowerment drive for the youth had not been sustainable so far, which has seen youth receding back to square one even when functional interventions had targeted them.

Kasaila agreed with the plea for more speedy efforts in reviewing the National Youth Council of Malawi Act (1996), lamenting that there were a lot of people that, taking advantage of the aged law, have sought their own benefits other than targeting the youth.

Youth Minister Francis Kasaila (seated, centre) poses with ministry officials and NYCOM staff 

“It would be better to have a few organisations that are focused on their work than having three thousand that only seek to benefit their directors,” he said.

He promised to take up the matter to ensure that the Act is reviewed soon.

Kasaila said he was pleased that the Council had even reflected on and highlighted the working relationship between his Ministry and the Council in which reporting and policy interaction ought to thrive in driving the agenda of the youth and shaping the future of the National Youth Council.

The Minister also hinted that the Board of Directors would be in place soon, saying his Ministry will try its best to get people who are truly committed to the youth cause and are able to do the work they are expected to do other than just looking for tokens. The Youth Council has not had a Board of Directors since November 10 last year when the mandate of the previous board expired.

Kasaila also said there was need for the Council to generate innovative ideas on how to locally generate resources for the programmes it seeks to implement before going to donors, saying if the Council demonstrates leadership in resource mobilisation, the others would see the need to follow.

Noting that most donors are not forthcoming in supporting infrastructure but software, Kasaila said his ministry would explore ways of identifying opportunities for the construction of the Achinyamata Centre, an ambitious multipurpose youth development centre vision eluded by a software-oriented donor and private sector community.

He also noted that most youth organisations that are active are in that state based on some projects and they die out when the funding dries out and constantly shift focus areas depending on where the money is.

The Minister also said there was need to enhance “the human capacity of the Council so that it can effectively monitor and regulate the youth organisations, and I will not hesitate to deregister those that prove not to work for the benefit of the youth.”

Kasaila also said the Council should be able to come to the Ministry and provide proposals on the best ways of effectively targeting the youth both by the Ministry and its sister ministries, commending the Council for taking the initiative to interface with his Ministry.

“Our focus should be on how we can help the youth out there. There would be individuals or organisations that would want to use us for selfish reasons. We may have challenges as a country but those challenges are not meant to make us fight each other but rather motivate us to find solutions,” said Kasaila.

Kasaila’s meeting with the Council came weeks after Presidential Advisor on Youth Affairs Simon Vuwa Kaunda visited the Council on a familiarisation tour.

Earlier, the Council had made presentations highlighting its programmes, strategic direction and approved reform areas under the public service reforms initiative being championed by the government of Malawi. 

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