One of President Lazarus Chakwera’s signature campaign promises, the National Youth Service, has finally come to fruition with its launch on Tuesday in Neno District.

With the realization of the initiative, President Chakwera says time has come to empower the youth of Malawi through vocational training and access to capital in form of equipment in their trades of choice.

The President interacting with one of the students to understand the nature of programs offered at Neno Centre

The Malawi leader toured Neno Integrated Youth Development Centre to appreciate the type and quality of training the first cohort of NYS is receiving. It also gave him an opportunity to form an informed opinion on how best the program he visualized is being perfected to benefit the youth.

Speaking at a rally he held after the tour, President Chakwera said a vibrant youth society is key to the country’s social economic development.

A cross-section of students at Neno Centre

“Today, I am extremely excited that I stand here to launch this initiative which is one of my campaign promises. This programme signifies our serious commitment towards youth development. Time has come for our young people to be economically independent and stop relying on handouts from politicians,” said Chakwera.

The Malawi leader observed that for the programme to succeed there is need for the formulation of sustainable structures that would sustain the project beyond a certain period.

President Chakwera delivering his remarks to officially launch the National Youth Service

National Youth Service will target at least 20,000 annually and will drill youths in trades such as Agriculture (crop, livestock, fish and poultry farming) Information, Communications & Technology (ICT), carpentry, welding, tailoring and renewable technologies.

In the first year government has committed K3.5 billion and is expected to adjust the figure to K20 billion for next year’s activities.

The program has been complemented with other established vocational and financing entities to ensure that those trained have more access to financing. Among the entities are the National Economic Empowerment Fund (Neef) and Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta).

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