YOUNG people have been implored to be patriotic and participate actively in the consolidation of peace, national development and progress.
Zanzibar Minister for Labour, Empowerment, Elderly, Youth, Women and Children, Ms Maudline Castico issued the call on the eve of the International Youth Day, commemorated today across the globe.
Ms Castico underscored the importance of learned, skilled, empowered and patriotic youths towards attaining national development plans and the maintenance of peace and tranquility.
The minister said youth’s integrity, patriotism and active participation in the preservation of peace will enable the country prosper socially and economically, and insisted that the government was committed to supporting youths’ cause.
Ms Castico said the government is aware of the many challenges affecting youths, and has devised policies and is implementing various programs so as to overcome those challenges, particularly lack of jobs and capital.
“The government recognises that youths are the workforce of our nation; you are faced with a myriad of challenges, including lack of employment. And to address the challenge (of unemployment), the government has been encouraging youths to exploit the various opportunities available in the production sector as well as empower them financially,” said Ms Castico.
She insisted that it was her ministry’s objective to empower the public, including youths, economically and the government has been creating various opportunities for Tanzanians to get employment, acquire skills and entrepreneurial education as well as issuing loans to various groups.
“The issue of youth’s education, skills and empowerment are key instruments to ensure young people can perform subsistence activities,” said the minister.
During the year 2016/17, Ms Castico said, her ministry issued a total of 341 loans (232 in Unguja and 109 in Pemba) worth 600m/, which benefitted 3486 people of whom 1,944 were men and 1,542 women, noting that 65 per cent of the beneficiaries constituted youths aged between 18 and 35.
The 2017 International Youth Day is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. The Union government commenced marking the International Youth Day since 2000 whilst the Revolutionary government of Zanzibar government followed suit four years later.