By KELVIN MUDENDA –
UNITED Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country representative Mary Otieno has applauded the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for prioritising the needs of the young people in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
Dr Otieno noted that young people were Zambia’s greatest asset and with simultaneous investments in their education, health and productivity needs, the country was poised to attain its demographic dividend.
She said this when she met minister of Youth, Sports and Child Development Moses Mawere at his office in Lusaka on Tuesday.
The meeting was aimed at discussing the operationalisation of the development needs of the young people as articulated in the SNDP that was recently launched by President Edgar Lungu.
“I want to applaud the Government of the Republic of Zambia for prioritising the needs of young people in the 7NDP, especially since Zambia has a very youthful population with 82 per cent being under the age of 35.
“I want to urge the private sector and youth serving organisations, to join hands with Government in addressing the development challenges facing young people,” Dr Otieno said.
She assured the minister of UNFPA’s commitment to partnering with the Government in ensuring that every young Zambian’s full potential was realised.
Mr Mawere paid tribute to UNFPA for sustaining its partnership with the Government in addressing the development needs of young people
Mr Mawere said Government was alive to the fact that the needs of young people were many and vast and that the Ministry was looking forward to strengthening its coordination to ensure that the benefits of implementing the 7NDP accrued to young people.
“There is need for all stakeholders including cooperating partners to partner with Government in realising the full potential of our youth in this country,” he said.