President Robert Mugabe says the government has taken measures to see that young people are afforded employment opportunities.
Addressing people who attended the official opening of the 25th Session of the Junior Parliament and Day of the African Child commemorations in Harare today, the President said young people should be given an opportunity to reach their full potential through empowering them into the mainstream economy.
“The government adopted a national youth policy which seeks to empower youths to reach their full potential and to mitigate challenges they face in life,” said the President.
President Mugabe said the government will always explore avenues to include young people into the four clusters of ZIM ASSET namely: food security and nutrition, infrastructure and utilities, poverty alleviation and social services, and value addition and beneficiation.
He said as part of developing young people, the government also prioritised investment in the education sector as evidenced by the increased number of students enrolment at schools and in institutions of higher and tertiary education.
“The government has realised the need to empower young people by including them into the four clusters of ZIM ASSET achieved through the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment,” President Mugabe said.
Cde Mugabe also highlighted that the government has prioritised the expansion of education.
“Since independence, the primary schools enrolment was 235 934 and has risen to over three million pupils representing a 244 percent increase while the secondary schools had 74 321 students compared to the 936 734 students so far, an increase of 1 260 percent since 1980. The country now boasts of nine state universities with a combined enrolment of 69 000 and a phenomenal rise in the number of teachers’ colleges and poly-technical colleges,” said Cde Mugabe.
The President said government regards the development of children as important for Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole.
He highlighted that this led to the establishment of a junior parliament for development where youths are trained as future leaders and other walks of life.
“Junior parliament is an important channel for the government to give young people a platform to express their concerns and interact with ministers to address their problems and suit their concerns,” he said.
President Mugabe also urged Zimbabweans not to take their rights and freedom for granted.
“You should give great respect to the gallant sons and daughters of the soil who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Zimbabwe,” he said.
He said Zimbabwe’s independence was hard won and the advantage and privilege of going to school came as a result of the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters.
“We are happy to see you committed as you are going through your education so that you can be keepers of our independence and keepers of the Zimbabwe in every aspect of it,” said President Mugabe.
The day of the African child ran under the theme, “Appreciatively Discovering ZIMCHEER Entrepreneurs as a Way of Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunities Towards Fulfilling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Children in Africa”.