Chief Regional Officer for Zambezi Regional Council Regina Ndopu-Lubinda has challenged the youth in the region to maximise their potential by participating fully in the country’s development agenda.
She was speaking recently during the regional youth week organised by the Zambezi Regional Youth Forum.
Ndopu-Lubinda, who cited various innovative ideas from youth around the globe that have redefined societal development, says the onus does not only fall on government but also on citizens, specifically the youth who stand to inherit the future administration of the country.
“Let us come back home to our region. I still ask the question: What are you prepared to do as the youth of our region to participate in democracy and development? The examples I have given clearly show that it is not all about government but innovative citizens and youth ready to change the well-being of this nation for the better,” stated Ndopu-Lubinda. She said the regional council was doing its part to empower the youth and promised to continue doing so. “Regional council deliberately made a decision not to use businesses for the installation of sanitary toilets in our rural communities. We directly hired 59 youths from our vocational training centre to do the installation of 200 VIP toilets. They successfully completed the work. We intend to do this again with the use of youth in various development project activities,” she stated.
According to the CRO, the regional council is providing funding of up to N$50 000 for development projects, specifically meant to uplift the youth.
“We have supported a number of youths under our rural development projects. We still want to see more youths viable projects applying. We do provide funding from N$10 000 up to N$50 000. It is not much but it is a start,” she reiterated.
Ndopu-Lubinda, however, expressed disappointment that despite opportunities created for young people, they continue engaging in undesirable activities that often adversely affect their lives. “It is unfortunate that with all these opportunities available, we still find most of our youths engaged in certain undesirable activities such as alcohol and substance abuse, gender-based violence, teenage pregnancies, school truancy and dropouts and disrespect towards our elders and a lot more,” she lamented.
The regional council has devised a way to involve young people in policy-making and development through creating a platform from which their views on matters of development would be heard. “We need to reach out to young people. They have a lot to contribute and hearing a diversity of perspectives enriches us all. We shall have three dialogue sessions with the youth to get their views on development. The first dialogue will be held in June and the last two in August and October 2015,” the CRO said.