The United Nations General Assembly in 1999 designated the 12th of August as the International Youth Day to acknowledge the role that young people play in promoting human rights and development across the world. To commemorate this day, annual celebrations have been held over the years in different countries under varying themes. This year in Malawi, the National Youth Council in collaboration with several youth organisations organised an International Youth Day event under the theme Youth Building Peace – The Role of Youth in Population, Health, Environment, Skills Development and Entrepreneurship.
The event resonated with the African Union’s theme for the year 2017 dubbed “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in Youth”. As such, the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), which has done extensive work on the demographic dividend (DD) in several African countries, participated in the event to advance the DD agenda. The event was graced by representatives from government ministries, CSOs, international development partners, the private sector and countless young people. Mr. Joseph Mwandidya, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Labor, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, was the guest of honor at the event.
Malawi youth also honored this day by exposing what young people are doing in the country to advance national development issues as well as connecting young people to different opportunities, information and programmes run by different institutions and companies in the country. As such, the expo provided a platform for young people to present innovative and diverse skills in a wide range of categories and further provide information on employment prospects.