EU Ambassador to Malawi Marchel Gerrmann made the announcement in Lilongwe on Tuesday, at the launch of a Youth Well-being Policy Review meeting.
According to him this will be done through “Improving Secondary Education in Malawi” and “Skills and Technical Education (STEP) Programmes whose aim is to provide opportunities for the youth, through quality education and training with a special focus on inclusion of women and vulnerable groups.
“In the coming years we will be investing €200 Million in these programmes and we expect that this will increase access to both technical and vocational education training and improve the quality,” pledged Gerrmann.
He underscored the need to ensure that the country’s youths are given an opportunity to acquire such skills to enable them seek employment and also become entrepreneurs.
The EU Envoy stated that it is important that young people have the right qualifications on the job market for them to make a decent living for their families thereby contribute to national development.
With more than 130. 000 young people entering the labour market every year in Malawi against a provision of 30.000 jobs; he lamented that this has translated to many being left out.
He explained that this is the reason EU promotes life skills and entrepreneurial training, noting that this presents an increasingly important alternative to employment.
Germann observed that projects like this one being implemented in 10 partner countries over the world for the past 3 years, have the potential to transform the lives of many youths.
The Youth Well-being Policy Review in Malawi has shown that although youths below the age of 15 account for one quarter of the population, they continue facing multiple challenges with early school drop-out still widespread.
The review is part of the youth inclusion project funded by the European Union.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila, described the Policy as a milestone, as it brings to the fore issues requiring attention to improve the well-being of youths in the country.
He reiterated government’s commitment in prioritizing youths in its development agenda.
Kasaila cited technical and vocational skills training through the establishment of community technical colleges in every district of the country, job creation and functional literacy, as some of the flagship programmes government has embarked on to boost youths chances.
He was upbeat that with the support from other players in the private sector and civil society organisations they will work together with government in scaling up the interventions.
“The Youth Well-being Policy Review for Malawi therefore just provides the right diagnosis to youth problems”
“I believe through concerted efforts of all stakeholders we should be able to develop meaningful interventions to address the issues raised in the report,” he observed.
Among its highlights the Report noted that access to sexual and reproductive health services, remains insufficient especially for young women thereby increasing health risks resulting to early pregnancies.
It also revealed that only 35% of students in primary schools complete the cycle resulting in a decreased enrollment of 18% in secondary education.
It recommends to government to strengthen youth empowerment through increased support for direct participation in policy making.