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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Young people challenged to provide solutions to the country’s needs

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged the young generation to harness innovations to propel the country’s industrial growth.

He was speaking at the official opening of the 31st Junior Parliament in Harare this Friday.

Following in the footsteps of the August House, the young legislators conduct their business in the Junior Parliament which has representatives from the country’s 10 provinces.

This was showcased during the official opening of the Junior Parliament led by the newly elected Child President, Neville Mavu at the City Sports Centre in Harare this Friday.

The day coincided with commemorations to mark the Day of the African Child celebrated on the 16th of June each year in honour of young lives lost in the Soweto uprising of 1976 in South Africa.

President Mnangagwa took the opportunity to spell out the government’s expectations for the youth dividend where learners are expected to provide the needs of industry through the heritage based 5.0 model.

“It is folly for a nation to aspire to have things they do not produce. If you want a good house you must build it. We want to ensure when you leave university you must say I am fit to serve the growth of the country,” said the President.

He also stressed the need for young people to be proud of their origins.

“The development you see in the 1st world was done by their young people. People your age in Japan are Japanese so you also here in Zimbabwe must know you’re Zimbabweans.”

With drug and substance abuse affecting young people, President Mnangagwa said the Junior Parliament must play a leading role in dealing with the scourge.

“Drug and substance abuse continues to hound our young people. You must take a leading role in fighting this,” he said.

President Mnangagwa further noted the government’s commitment to uplifting the lives of young people, describing them as the backbone and future of the country.

The President also said the government will continue to work with development partners, particularly those with a mandate to support child protection, education and skills development.

“In fulfilling our commitment under the United Nations Suaga Development Cooperation Framework, the government will continue to collaborate with development partners, this cooperation should be in line with government priorities and respect our culture and values,” he said.

Attention was also drawn to the benefits of the digital age.

“The digital environment also opens new avenues for children with disabilities to engage in social relations with their peers, access to information and participate in public decision-making processes.”

The Opening Session of the Junior Parliament was also an opportunity for the young ones to highlight gaps where they need government support.

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