Article by Khethiwe Mathuthu
12 August marked the International Youth Day, and the 2020 theme was: Youth Engagement For Global Action. All around the globe young people hosted various activities to celebrate this day, and as Youth for innovation Trust we took time off to capture the expressions of young leaders on whether or not youth in Zimbabwe ready for global action.
The overall expression was that youth are in fact ready for global action though there are a lot of challenges to be dealt with first. Considering the human rights abuses in the country and how young people have championed the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter campaign on social media, the readiness to interact at an international level is evident.
When it comes to engagement for global action youth in Zimbabwe are ready, they have the right capacities and mindsets. However their backyard is not allowing them to spread their wings. Zimbabwe is not at a position to invest in its young people yet, Zimbabwe is still content with seeing its young people struggle for basic survival. Firebrands are battling incarceration and mental illnesses. There is an urgent need for the government of Zimbabwe to properly remunerate young people for all their efforts. Basic human rights like the right to shelter, food, energy, education and health should not deter young people from engagement for global action. Thando Gwinji – YIT Managing Director
A youth leader and community development worker, Thabiso Jamela, echoed these sentiments, citing that young people are the majority of Zimbabwe’s population but not much has been done to realize the role of youth leadership in the national and global action discourse .Young people in Zimbabwe have what it takes to contribute positively to national and global development.
Zimbabwe has hard working young people who have brilliant ideas and energy but the challenge has been the lack of resources to turn ideas into reality and limited opportunities for young people to participate in key policy making platforms where they could have the opportunity to shape policies that respond to the needs of young people across the country.
If young people are given the space and the opportunities to meaningfully engage in the national development processes they stand a chance to develop innovative and game-changing ideas that would make an impact in their communities and have a positive ripple effect globally.
As a youth, what is your take? Are youth in ZImbabwe ready for Global Action? Tell us on WhatsApp 0782838682