Programmes Manager at Youth Engage, Ignatious Chiveso has expressed the need to tap into the young people demographic group to solve challenges of the growing population of youth in Zimbabwe and Africa during a panel discussion at the Global Shapers Community in Harare.
The discussion, in which World Economic Forum Community Manager for Global Shapers Community, Abdullahi Alim also took part was titled “The Role Of Young People in Championing Sustainable Development Goals in an Open Zimbabwe.
“Most would look at it (population increase) as a problem,” Chiveso said “but at the same time it’s a unique opportunity because then you are looking at the largest base of a very vibrant able-bodied young people who are able to contribute to the economy and then contribute to the development especially of Africa and beyond.”
Youth Engage Programmes Manager also said tapping into the youths requires not just ensuring that the current existing population is catered for, but trying to look at how the current population can also create gains for the future population and ensure that the population is maintained to make sure it does not become a burden later.
Chiveso, who listed four key elements of tapping into the young people’s demographic group as health, employment creation, innovation and creating an enabling environment said there is a need to look at ways in which the young people have the choice of their reproductive health and how healthy the youths are to contribute to the economy.
The Programmes Manager, explaining on creating an enabling environment for young people to take part in economic issues said there is a need for political will to implement policies for tapping into the young generation demography.
“If we can talk of every great company in the world, we probably have a Zimbabwean out there,” Chiveso explained about employment creation. “It’s not that we are short of minerals, it’s not that we are short of resources. We are just short of the lack of will to ensure that we channel all of those resources necessary to ensure that they work to the best of the population and this case young people.”
“Without innovation, without spaces created for innovation to blossom and to bloom we are always in a situation where we are going to be lagging behind,” Youth Engage Manager went on to speak on innovation.
The world’s population is predicted to grow to 9.5 billion by 2050 with the youths making up 60 percent.
“If it’s (population) not serviced right now it may end up becoming a burden later on… imagine if we have 60% of the world which continues to be unemployed and continues not to be able to serve their countries and contribute not just the economy but the great development sphere of the countries,” Chiveso.