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African nations asked to invest in its youth

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Bishop Joseph Kazembe has asked African nations to invest in sustainable solutions that could empower its growing vulnerable youthful population and save it from destruction.

Kazembe, a youth and women’s rights advocate and founder and leader of Youth Out International (YOUTI), made the remarks at an international two- day youth conference on mindset change.

The conference was held in Lilongwe under the theme: “Arise and Shine”.

He observed that Africa’s youthful population has fallen prey to abuse and become victims of prostitution, drug and alcohol abuse because nations on the continent have not invested much in initiatives tailored at empowering them with skills and education.

“Africa as a continent stands on the verge of losing its potential youthful population to rising social – ills such as prostitution, drug and substance abuse, unless there are no deliberate measures to empower them.

“Africa has the highest population of young people in the world and such a high population is an opportunity for the continent’s growth, but only if they are fully empowered to realize their best potential,” Kazembe told the conference which has drawn the participation of Christian youths from Malawi and Zambia.

He said the continent is endowed with a vibrant youthful population, but he said it has not been fully empowered to make a meaningful contribution on its development.

Kazenbe said African governments and the Church should join hands to invest in programs that could “reverse the debilitating socio-economic challenges which are  driving the youth to destruction.”

He said the lack of employment opportunities and skills has destroyed young people on the continent leaving them vulnerable.

“The future of African countries rests in its young population, therefore there is a need for nations to join hands with the Church on a journey to save the young people from destruction,” said Kazembe.

Bishop Kazembe posing for a photo with the youths who attended the meeting

The cleric then condemned some political leaders who are taking advantage of the vulnerability of the young people to use them as agents of destruction.

“We have to stop this, but instead we have to raise a generation of young people capable enough to lead and drive Africa on a path to prosperity. The youth have the potential to create a new Africa and lead it only if they are fully empowered,” he said.

Among others, the  Lilongwe mindset change conference is devising measures to change the mindset of the youth.

“Some of the challenges young people are going through are resulting from mindset. It is therefore significant that we should take them through a process of mindset change,” said Kazembe.

Zambian Apostle Memory Phiri told the conference that young people are a force for change and if fully utilized can bring about meaningful change in society.

“In this era, God is using the youth as vessels to take the Gospel to all corners of the world.  Let us, therefore, empower and make full use of them,” she said.

Established in 2018 in Malawi, Youth Out International is a non-partisan youth organization working to advance human dignity, human rights and sustainable livelihoods of the youth, children and women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Since its inception, the organization has among other things been working to reduce drop–out rates in schools and sensitizing them on the dangers of some social ills which are risking their lives.

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