FOCESE said this after presenting guidelines before Nsanje Full Council to be adopted so that the youth are incorporated in decision making at various levels.
In an interview, FOCESE Executive Director Christie Banda said that the guidelines will present an opportunity to the youth to be fully represented and voice their concerns for the betterment of their fellow youths.
“These guidelines intend to enhance youth participation in governance, decision making and to provide a platform for the youth to actively contribute to issues which affect them,” said Banda.
Banda added that failure to incorporate the youth entails that policies and development plans are likely to be made without the contribution of a larger demographic group that would be directly affected by the choices made leading to unresponsive socio-economic development.
She also said that exclusion of youth in decision making and governance structures has a negative impact on the future of a society.
In responding to how the youth in the district shall benefit from the guidelines, District Youth Officer, DYO, for Nsanje Richard Juwawo said the youth in Nsanje lacked a platform to air out the issues that affect them.
“There was a gap because most decisions that the council made did not include the views of the youth and now that the council has adopted the guidelines, the youth will have to participate actively in development issues,” said Juwawo.
The DYO said that his office will develop criteria that should be used in building the capacity of the youth so that they are able to articulate development agendas and manage to bring the change that will help the country at large.
The guidelines are backed by the Malawi National Youth Policy that recommends youth participation and that guidelines be developed and be made available to all stakeholders for implementation.
To come up with the guidelines, FOCESE made consultations with Nsanje District Youth Office, Youth Network and traditional leaders with financial help from DanChurchAid.
According to FOCESE, 60% of the population of Nsanje is made up of youths as such the council recognizes youth inclusion as an initial stage in any development agenda. The Full Council has since adopted the guidelines.