On Wednesday, 26 July 2017, the Inter-ministerial Committee on Adolescents and Youth in Malawi held a meeting to table some of the pressing issues affecting young people in the country such as: lack of adequate skills; poverty; lack of access to education opportunities; and lack of access to finances. In attendance on this day were several partner organisations among them the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) and the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) Malawi. A wide spectrum of concerns were placed on the agenda. Notably, Dr. Eliya Zulu, the Executive Director, AFIDEP, gave a brief presentation on the prospects of domesticating the African Union Demographic Dividend (DD) Roadmap in Malawi.
The DD Roadmap presentation by Dr. Zulu set the stage for the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development to brief the audience on the latest review of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III. The overarching approach that this recent strategy paper has taken is to mainstream the lessons learned from the DD study in Malawi into its different thematic areas. As such, it is evident that Malawi is beginning to undertake some bold efforts to implement policies that will harness the DD in the country. Nevertheless, one outstanding question that remained unresolved at the close of business was “should Malawi still come up with its own country specific DD Roadmap?”
Ultimately, the Committee narrowed down its discussions and looked at the soon to be released National Strategy on Adolescent Girls and Young Women in a presentation led by the Ministry of Labor, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development. This diverse consideration of issues by the committee underscored its mandate of providing interdepartmental efforts to resolve recurrent and emerging issues affecting adolescents and youth, tracking efforts, and coordinating policy.