By Robert Kumwenda

Government has reiterated its commitment to promote the youths in the country by making sure that they become productive citizens.

Dr Owen Chikhwaza Deputy Director in the Ministry of Health made these remarks at a Private Sector Networking meeting held in Blantyre.

He said there is need for the private sector to work with government for the realization of the development of the youths.

“We must develop the youth today because if we do not we will not have the quality of labor to sustain our businesses,” he said.

Dr Chikhwaza said government has made some progress in the area of Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) though there has been an increase in teenage pregnancies, child marriages which has been going up fifty percent,” he said.

“Government is open for business and the youth are the backbone of the economy hence the need to start doing things differently,” he said.

He therefore stressed the need for private sector and public sector to engage more.

Speaking at the same meeting Andrew Maso Akhumbira from Nkhotakota Youth Organization said there is need for trust among the two parties meaning that there must be more participation for the youth in various initiatives.

He said the country has the National Youth Policy but many youth are not aware what is contained in the policy.

So does Patricia Kandiero who also said there must be accountability and partnership in different activities because many youth are failing to access information.

130,000 youth enter the job market annually and 30,00 can be employed by formal sector and out of 32,000 new HIV infections registered annually amongst 15-49 years old, 12,500 are youth 15-24 years.

Only eight percent of youth people complete secondary education, a Malawian girl is fifty times more likely to be married before the age of 18 than enter university.

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