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National Youth Policy
Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment
June 2013

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Executive Summary

The National Youth Policy was developed in 2000 to provide an enabling framework for the development and empowerment of youth in a comprehensive, coordinated and multi-sectoral manner. The policy seeks to ‘empower the youth by creating an enabling environment and marshaling the resources necessary for undertaking programmes and projects to fully develop the youths’ mental, moral, social, economic, political, cultural, spiritual and physical potential in order to improve their quality of life’.

However, since it was developed in 2000, some important developments have occurred at the national, regional and international levels that have necessitated the Government of Zimbabwe to review the Policy to determine that it becomes consistent with these developments and the current youth situation. In reviewing the policy, extensive consultations were held with youth organisations, sectoral groups as well as the young women and men themselves. In addition, the Zimbabwe Youth Council embarked on an extensive youth awareness and consultative process involving provincial as well as sectoral consultative meetings as well as launching electronic media programmes. Through these programmes and the participation of these groups in the policy formulation process, the revised National Youth Policy has been designed to address the major needs, challenges and opportunities of young men and women, accommodating provincial variations and specific sectoral issues. The Policy has also received contributions from a number of guiding frameworks that include the African Youth Charter (AYC), the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) and the Global Political Agreement (GPA). It also incorporates aspects from the Nziramasanga Education and Training Commission Report.

The policy is consistent with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and major regional and international Conventions and Agreements that the Government of Zimbabwe is Party to. It is based on a set of eleven guiding principles and values that have influenced its design and direction. These principles and values lay the foundation on which the goals, objectives and strategies of the policy have been formulated.

By placing young people as central to all development initiatives, the revised National Youth Policy recognises and values young women and men as a key resource and national asset and highlights the importance of youth development to nation building and the creation of a democratic, productive and equitable society. At provincial and local levels, the National Youth Policy will ensure that government authorities work in a cooperative and harmonious manner when designing and delivering programmes and services that address youth development needs and opportunities. In addition, the Policy is intended to encourage an understanding amongst the youth of the processes of governance and provide opportunities for their participation in provincial and local programmes, thus enabling young women and men to play a positive role in national development.

The National Youth Policy seeks to achieve the following goals:

1. To empower youth to participate and contribute to the socio-economic development of the nation,

2. To develop a coordinated response and participation by all stakeholders in the development and empowerment of the youth,

3. To instill in youth a clear sense of national identity and respect for national principles and values, and

4. To promote the health of young people and develop youth oriented healthcare.

A number of strategies are outlined which comply with the multi-sectoral nature of the Youth Policy and relate to a range of programmes that should be implemented by a variety of institutions in order to achieve the stated policy goals and objectives. The strategies are grouped under twelve key strategic areas, namely:

A number of strategies are outlined which comply with the multi-sectoral nature of the Youth Policy and relate to a range of programmes that should be implemented by a variety of institutions in order to achieve the stated policy goals and objectives. The strategies are grouped under twelve key strategic areas, namely:

i) Education and Skills Development

ii) Youth Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods

iii) Youth Empowerment and Participation

iv) Youth Migration

v) Gender Equality and Equity

vi) Information, Communication and Technology

vii) Data and Research

viii) Youth Coordination and Mainstreaming

ix) Culture, Sport and Recreation

x) National Youth Service

xi) Youth Health

xii) Youth and Environment

The implementation of this policy depends on a sound institutional framework and active political, administrative and technical support for the translation of goals, objectives and strategies outlined in the policy into actual programmes at all levels of society. A concerted and coordinated effort is required by Government, non-government and private institutions, churches, youth groups and community organisations to address youth issues in a comprehensive way. This requires an identification and elaboration of the mechanisms for collaboration and coordination to implement a well-resourced and funded youth development agenda.

Immediately after the approval of the Policy, a comprehensive National Action Plan for its implementation will be developed with the involvement of key stakeholders. Deliberate efforts will be made to utilize existing structures of Government and civil society to implement the Policy in order to avoid creating additional institutional frameworks, unless they are absolutely necessary.

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