President calls youths to action President Mnangagwa and Vice-Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi at the Youth Empowerment Forum in Uzumba yesterday. — Picture: Innocent Makawa

Wallace Ruzvidzo in UZUMBA MARAMBA PFUNGWE

THE youth should lead Zimbabwe’s pursuit of becoming an upper-middle-class economy by 2030 as they are key agents of transforming the country and driving sustainable economic growth and development, President Mnangagwa has said.

The President presided over the launch of the Youth Service in Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment Forum at Nhakiwa Vocational Training Centre here yesterday where he also commissioned a fully equipped computer laboratory and business unit with a one hectare drip technology garden, two fish ponds, a solar-powered borehole and water storage tanks.

In his address to thousands of young people in attendance, President Mnangagwa said the youth were drivers of Zimbabwe’s  modernisation and industrialisation agenda.

The Second Republic, he said, had subsequently incorporated young people into positions of influence to ensure relevance and effectiveness of sustainability efforts.

“I believe that the youth are key agents of transforming our country and driving sustainable economic growth and development. 

“As such, the Second Republic has demonstrated its commitment to young people through bold placement of the youth in key decision-making positions, inclusive of Government.

“Your inclusion in decision-making ensures that policies and programmes are reflective of your needs and aspirations, which enhances the relevance and effectiveness of sustainability efforts.

“I am glad that, as the young people of our country, you are now talking about solutions and are clear on how you want to participate in the economy. Well done,” he said.

“As the youth, you have a role to play in the development of our country, ‘Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inonamatigwa nevene vayo/ Iizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo’ This must always be your guiding philosophy.”

President Mnangagwa said as the youth increased their participation in the national development agenda, they were not supposed to forget nor neglect the country’s rich liberation history.

The youth of yesteryear delivered Zimbabwe’s freedom hence it is now the youth of today’s duty to lead economic growth efforts.

“The young people of Zimbabwe and Africa must never ever forget this rich liberation war history that birthed the freedom and democracy we are enjoying .

“Now the duty and burden lies on you to guard and protect our birth right. You must work harder to develop, modernise, and industrialise our country for a higher quality of life for all our people. 

“The youth of yester-year did their part, now it is your turn. I am also pleased that we are meeting here in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, Mashonaland East Province, which witnessed the protracted war of liberation. This venue must inspire the youth of our country to vigorously pursue our national development agenda and Vision 2030,” said the President.

Youth Service Zimbabwe trainees at a parade at the Youth Empowerment Forum in Uzumba yesterday

He reaffirmed the Second Republic’s commitment to supporting the youth with various developmental initiatives, pursuant to leaving no one and no place behind.

The re-introduction of the Youth Service in Zimbabwe, said the President, was one such initiative.

“My Government is committed to the wholesome development of our youth. In this regard, extensive interactions and consultations across the country have indicated the need for Government to develop programmes specifically aimed at moulding a citizen who can be entrusted with the future of Zimbabwe.

“Resultantly, the Youth Service in Zimbabwe Programme has been rebranded, taking into account your views and ideas.

“With its re-introduction, the Youth Service in Zimbabwe Programme is designed to nurture patriotic, well-rounded and disciplined citizens with the requisite knowledge, skills and values that enable them to reach their full potential,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said initiatives such as the Youth Service would aid in combating drug and substance abuse as responsible, hard-working and loyal youth would be cultivated there.

“The Programme further seeks to cultivate young people who are responsible, hard-working and loyal to the founding values of Zimbabwe. This includes improving people’s livelihoods, managing disasters, protecting the environment and ensuring food security.

“Ultimately, the Programme will foster a positive national identity, while also encouraging a culture of service and constructive participation by the youth of Zimbabwe. We do not want the youth to engage in societal ills such as drug and substance abuse. Pasi neMutoriro,” he said.

Each training intake of the Youth Service in Zimbabwe will enrol youths from all provinces in order to foster unity among them regardless of region, tribe, race, culture or religion.

President Mnangagwa directed Government to expedite the rollout of the programme as well as ensure full capacitation of existing youth facilities.

“On its part, Government is committed to supporting your youth bank, the Empowerbank, so that it is able to provide affordable financial solutions to the young people of our country.

“Those that access these facilities must always act responsibly,” he said.

President Mnangagwa also urged the youth to harness new technologies as they were the way forward in the country’s socio-economic development.

Pursuant to this, he donated 100 computers to the District, with Nhakiwa Vocational Training Centre having been fully equipped with a computer laboratory.

“Fast developing ICTs require our education system to quickly change and our young people to be equipped with relevant skills. 

“As such, my Government continues to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as well as improve the understanding of technologies,” said President Mnangagwa.

The youth were more adaptable to new technology and ideas, while at the same time being proficient in leveraging technology and social media to raise awareness, mobilise support and drive action on a global scale.

ICTs were no longer a preserve of a few, but the new way of life for everyone, especially the youth. 

“They (ICTs) have become intricately woven into our socio-economic fabric. To this end, internet connectivity has been installed at this Vocational Training Centre for the benefit of learners and the community free of charge,” said the President.

He said ensuring access to education to all and sundry was a priority for the Second Republic.

“We want the youth to have access to education so that they actively participate in the development of our society. 

“This must meet our present needs as well as the needs of our society and economy in the future. The Heritage-Based 5.0 model ensures the production of goods and services. This is how it should be. 

“You should use education to answer and resolve the problems of the day, such as the impact of climate change, environmental degradation, hunger, low levels of modernisation and industrialisation, among others.

“Now we have vocational training education aligned to the Heritage-Based 5.0 model so that the livelihoods of communities at the grassroots level are transformed,” he said.

President Mnangagwa commended the youth for demonstrating eagerness to do more to aid the country’s development.

“It was apparent from the presentations that were made at the National Youth Day held in Masvingo, that you, our young people, are ready to do more to speed up national development. 

“Despite foreign aggression in the form of illegal sanctions imposed on our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe, we must keep moving forward.

“On its part, my Government continues to empower the youth through skills training and education needed to positively impact their own future and that of the communities they live in,” he said.

The President also took time to thank Mashonaland East province for contributing to Zanu-PF’s resounding victory in last year’s general elections.

“Let me take this opportunity to thank the communities of Uzumba, Maramba, Pfungwe and Mashonaland East Province in general, for your unwavering support of our revolutionary mass Party, Zanu-PF during the 2023 Harmonised General Elections,” he said.

Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training Minister Tino Machakaire said the youth had very high confidence in the Second Republic’s leadership.

Mashonaland East Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Apolonia Munzverengwi said initiatives such as the Vocational Training Centre would go a long way in combating drug and substance abuse.

The Youth Empowerment Forum was attended by Vice-Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi, Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Zanu-PF Politburo and Central Committee members as well as other senior Government officials.

President Mnangagwa received an array of gifts including two heifers, sheep and artwork from the province’s renowned businessman Mr Blessing Kanhema.

 

 

 

 

 

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