The First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa says the empowerment of women and youths is critical in achieving an upper middle class economy by 2030.

She made the remarks when she met with the Girl Guides Association in Harare.

“Imparting life skills and empowering women and youths are key issues that need to be addressed if the country is to attain an upper middle class economy level by 2030.  They are the building blocks in the realisation of the vision,” she said.

In honour of her unwavering commitment towards transforming the lives of the less privileged, the Girl Guides Association appointed the First Lady as their patron.

The association has helped in moulding and shaping the future generation.

The association was founded in 1925 and has 151 member countries.

Zimbabwe has more than 28 000 members from the age of five.

Preservation of the environment and recycling are among key projects they advance.