ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has said that the government has prioritised plans and implementation of various development programmes aimed at improving the participation and well-being of young people in the isles.
“We have been doing a lot for the development of youths, mainly in increasing education and employment opportunities,” Dr Mwinyi said on Friday during the commemoration of International Youth Day (IYD).
He said that in recognition of the importance of youths in the country’s development, the government has also reviewed the Youth Development Policy of 2005 which provides guidance in efforts to develop the group in the country. IYD is an awareness day designated by the United Nations with the aim of drawing attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youths.
The first IYD was observed on 12 August, 2000. This year’s theme is “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages.” Dr Mwinyi informed the enthusiastic youths that, “the policy on youths was reviewed to find the best way to implement it and achieve its goals and also strengthen the participation of young people in nation building through the Zanzibar Youth Council (ZYC).”
The President emphasised that youth councils have been established at district, regional, national levels for them to meet and discuss various issues to support the country economically, socially and politically. He called upon them to use the councils as forums to share new ideas and a platform to raise their voices on issues which are important for their development.
“We are glad that the government has been expanding employment opportunities for young people, including entrepreneurship training, availability of free loans, and education opportunities…use these opportunities,” Dr Mwinyi urged.
He explained that construction of modern schools, vocational centres, and widening of opportunities to join higher education by providing loans through the existing ‘Students Loan Boards of Zanzibar and Union, aims to ensure that “we create conducive environment for young people to be selfemployed”. President Mwinyi further said that in addition to the efforts the government has focused on the construction of infrastructures, implementation of Blue Economy policy, promotion of tourism, investment, business and other sectors in order to provide more opportunities for young people to contribute to the country’s economic growth.
He encouraged youths to continue working hard, be creative and innovative along with promoting peace and stability and strengthening unity among all groups within their communities. Commenting on this year’s theme, Dr Mwinyi said it carries an important message to youth development.
Dr Mwinyi recalled that all predecessors beginning with the late Abeid Karume had programmes to support and develop youths as stipulated in the Zanzibar constitution and emphasised in the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) 2020/2025 manifesto. He commended the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports for nurturing the young people.