NATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE 2014 COMMUNIQUE
Conference Date: 17-18 July 2014
Conference Venue: University of Zimbabwe, Harare
We the young people of Zimbabwe,
Comprising youth leaders of national and provincial youth associations, Zimbabwe Youth Council members, youth in civil society,
Having been convened by the Ministry of Youth, Indigenization and Empowerment together with the Zimbabwe Youth Council,
Supported by the World Bank and other development partners,
Recognizing the growing scourge of youth unemployment and the challenges facing our economy,
Aware of the multiplicity of efforts being made by various players in the youth sector, and the private sector,
On Skills Development:
We call upon government to modernize equipment in the vocational training centres and other institutions of higher learning including investment in ICTs,
We also call upon government to support and facilitate the retraining and capacitating of lecturers teaching students in Vocational Training Centres,
We further call upon other government line ministries to absorb skilled young people and create an enabling environment for their development,
We also call upon government to support and facilitate the expansion of vocational training centre curricula to include components of sports, arts and culture
We also call upon government and its partners in the Youth Fund to make it mandatory for youth benefitting from the Youth Fund to undergo skills training.
On Responsibility to rebrand the image of the youth,
Aware of the challenges of a culture of entitlement prevalent in the youth sector,
Aware of the high rates of default and non-performing loans among beneficiaries of the Youth Fund,
We welcome and uphold the calls by the Vice President to re-mould the youth image towards more responsible, respectful and hard-working youth
On Youth Funding
We recognize that the current funding model has not worked,
Aware of the short term nature of bank deposits and the competing need for long term loans to fund long term projects,
We call upon government to increase prescribed assets percentage on insurance firms investments to accommodate a youth fund,
Request the Ministry to convene a meeting with banks to rethink the youth funding model,
We also call upon fellow youths who have accessed funds to repay their loans
We request other funding institutions to establish schemes to support youth,
On Youth Coordination
Recognizing the multiplicity of uncoordinated efforts in the youth sector,
Call upon the Ministry of Youth through the Zimbabwe Youth Council to establish a Youth Development Coordination Forum,
Further calling upon the non-state actors in youth development to work in support of the agenda of the government of the day,
Also calling on government ministries and ZYC to embrace on the work of all youth organizations in the country,
Request the Ministry of Youth to publish on an annual basis a report showing progress made on youth development,
Further calling upon government to fully establish functional youth desks and focal persons in all government Ministries and departments,
Request that government honours its pledge in the national youth policy to allocate 25% of all resources and positions of appointment to the youth, especially in procurement and board representations
Call upon ZYC to facilitate the creation of provincial and national youth forums to facilitate youth coordination between National Youth Conferences, ensuring that the Youth Coordination Forums remain open to all ZYC registered organizations,
Ensuring that all Provincial and National Coordination mechanisms are available on social media platforms,
Further ensuring that disadvantaged youth including youth with disabilities are included in both provincial and national coordination bodies
On Enterprise Development
Further aware of the importance of enterprise development in sustainable economic empowerment of young people in the country.
We call upon government to review policies towards improving ease of doing business, reduction of bureaucracy and bottlenecks in setting up of youth enterprises,
We request the private sector players to support youth enterprises through mentorship, business incubation and product quality improvement initiatives, including mainstreaming of ICTs in business operations.
We also request the State Procurement Board to ensure 25% of government tenders go to the youth in line with the National Youth Policy.
We call upon government, private sector and other non-state actors such as not-for-profits to give support to youth enterprises such as procurement quotas for various products and services youth companies are able to provide.
We request government and its partners to support youth enterprises through market linkages locally, regionally and internationally.
We encourage young people to explore opportunities in value addition and beneficiation,
We end by committing ourselves to working for the betterment of our country through supporting initiatives from government, development agencies and the private sector, and building a better character of the Zimbabwean youth who is respectful to society.