No one will be left behind, President assures the youth
Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa
Zimbabwe yesterday celebrated National Youth Day and the launch of the Presidentail Youth Clean-up Campaign at Robert Mugabe Square in Harare.
Both the day and place where the celebrations were held are named after one of the country’s illustrious founding fathers, a liberator and national hero, the iconic former President, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
The guest of honour was President Mnangagwa who took time off his busy schedule to spend time with the country`s young.
In his remarks at the National Youth Day celebrations, President Mnangagwa said, ‘Today is about you our young people. You are important to our great nation. You are the future, you are our hope.’
He went on to illustrate the importance of Youth to the nation and the future saying, “As we commemorate this year’s National Youth Day, I therefore, call upon all the youth of our great country to recommissioned to the values, principles and ethos, bequeathed to us by the many sons and daughters who fought for the Liberation of our motherland Zimbabwe. It is incumbent on you all to guard jealously, the rich Liberation heritage by nurturing patriotism, peace, unity, love, harmony and culture of hardwork.”
President Mnangagwa said the button has been passed on to the youth who must hold firm to the national cause and run steadfastly towards the development and prosperity of Zimbabwe as enshrined in Vision 2030.
“As your President, I am fully aware of the fact that you as the Youth are one of the greatest assets of our nation. It is thought your commitment, ingenuity, collective innovative capabilities and energy that we can bring about unprecedented socio-economic development for a brighter future for all,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President stated that the creation of opportunities and ring-fencing of resources towards empowering and development of the youth is a continuing priority.
He said through youth abilities and entrepreneurial efforts, the country’s development can be leapfrogged and the implementation of National Development Strategy 1 achieved for the speedy attainment of Vision 2030.
He reiterated the importance of Youth in the National economic development by calling upon them to remain focused and committed to building Zimbabwe, reminding them that *Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo*.
President Mnangagwa implored the youth to remain united and reminded them that Zimbabwe is indivisible.
He said, “Although we all come from different provinces, let us forever be mindful that we are a diverse people, but one nation. There is no room for hate speech or divisive language.”
There is no room for tribalism, regionalism, hate or violence. Your responsibility as the youth is to remain Patriotic, united and peaceful while nurturing upright living, hard work, spirit of volunteerism and a commitment to serving the nation with unflinching loyalty and dedication.”
The National Youth Day was celebrated under the theme; “Towards achieving Vision 2030; Alleviate Substance and Drug Abuse by the Youth”.
Speaking on the drug scourge, President Mnangagwa said an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse had been set up.
He also said that a National Drug Abuse Fund had been set up in the 2022 National Budget.
“No stone will be left unturned as we scale up the fight to expose drug cartels that are peddling drugs such as Guka, Bronco, Glue and Musombodia, among many more dangerous drugs such as mutoriro/crystal meth and cocaine. Ultimately, you as the Youth must take responsibility to fight, resist and reject drug and substance abuse.”
He also mentioned that the Dangerous Drugs Act was being reviewed to meet the obtaining realities in tackling drug related issues.
Touching on other issues, the President said that steps to towards the promulgation of the Youth Act which will legislate the development and empowerment of youth and the National Youth Service Act to promote values of patriotism and Ubuntu among the youth are on course.
He called on the youth to take advantage of the exponential growth in the Agriculture sector by positioning themselves within the agro-processing value chain.
“A new farming cadre is being developed across all provinces to entrench and forever connect young people to the land,” said President Mnangagwa.
In addition, the President said concrete programmes along with associated resources are being rolled out to empower the youth in mining, Agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.
He added, “In the digital era, I also urge you to step up your use of ICTs to explore and exploit business opportunities that exist across the various sectors so that you help propel our socio-economic development agenda.”
The President reminded the youth that they will not be left behind as the country’s economy continues shifting from recovery to growth.
He said, “As your President, I am impressed by socio-economic contributions you are making as our young people in your various small and medium enterprises.
Your “hustle” is important and invaluable to both your families and the economy as a whole.”
He added, “As such, my Government has since recapitalised Empower Bank to increase resources available to young people. The challenge is now yours to exploit the Youth Business Starter Packs Programme to start and grow successful business enterprises. My Government is currently in the process of facilitating the provision of decent workplaces for SMEs.”
He said that in the spirit of devolution and decentralisation, the Empower Bank had been directed to increase its presence across the ten province if the country.
He also said that Youth Focal Desks established in all Government Ministries, Departments and Parastatals will continue to ensure that that youth have access to vital information and opportunities for sustainable economic empowerment.
On human resource development, the President said Government is intensifying the implementation of Education5.0. He said Vocational training centers in all provinces are being capacitated in line with STEM and that ten more Vocational Centres are being erected. He also said accommodation in institutions of higher learning are a priority and will be sped up.