By Joyce Mukucha
In celebrating the National Youth Day (NYD), the Government of Zimbabwe has promised to provide young people with vast opportunities to participate in national socio-economic development.
In a statement, the Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts, and Recreation Dr. Kirsty Coventry said Government understands the needs of young people and on this day, it is of paramount importance to act accordingly on the needs of every youth.
“As we celebrate our youths, the Government of Zimbabwe is cognizant of the ever-changing global trends and with it the needs and experiences of young people. The National Youth Day is a window of opportunity for engaging young people, to hear their views and opinions, to create a dialogue with Government aimed at bridging intergenerational gaps, and most importantly to act upon on the needs of every young person,” she said.
Dr. Coventry added that this year’s NYD will also provide an opportunity to young innovators to exhibit their talents and work to the Government paving a way for themselves to win support for their creatives.
“This year’s National Youth Day will provide young innovators from all walks of life an opportunity to showcase their work to Government and stand a chance to secure technical and financial support for their innovations.”
As Zimbabwe is living in the unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic and at the same time striving to become an upper-middle-class economy by 2030, Dr. Coventry pointed out that 2021 NYD celebrations are centered on curbing the epidemic’s negative effects that hinder the country’s development.
She urged youths to continue showing their advanced creativeness in technology ensuring that the the nation adapts to the new way of carrying day-to-day activities.
“Zimbabwe has not been spared from the devastations of the Corona Virus Disease of 2019, Covid-19. The pandemic has impacted the lives and livelihoods of millions of Zimbabweans. Young people who lead active and adventurous lives have been impacted the worst by the global pandemic. Ironically, as the world adjusts to a new normal where ICTs have become the answer to the demands of daily activities, it is the resilience, easy adaptation, and innovativeness of young people that is called upon.
“As Zimbabwe embarks on transforming into an upper-middle-class economy by 2030, this year’s celebrations will seek to capture the voices, actions, and initiatives of young people to combat the pandemic and its effects to retard socio-economic development.”
Dr Coventry also hailed young people for their positive contributions and efforts to the nation’s economic development and stressed that her Ministry was geared to extend unwavering support in ensuring that youths fully participate in programmes that are aimed at building a better Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwean youth over the years showed an insatiable thirst to make this country the great place it is, they are innovative, valiant, and brilliant. The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts, and Recreation is proud of youths and will take full advantage of every opportunity to provide young people with opportunities for growth and participation in the broader national economy,” she said.
Through the Zimbabwe Youth Council and the National Arts Gallery, it has been highlighted, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Zimbabwe has lined up a virtual two-day fun filled and enlightenment programme to celebrate NYD from the 25th to the 26th of February 2021.
The NYD was proclaimed and instituted by Government in 2017 in order for the nation to recognise and celebrate the contributions made by the youth throughout the history of the country as well as for young people to recognise and emulate the leadership values which include; patriotism, self-sacrifice, hard work, respect, dignity, compassion among others.
Since then, the day has been commemorated annually on the 21st of February.
Minister Coventry said, “The youth in Zimbabwe have embraced the day as an opportune moment to celebrate the fruits of a long and hard-worn independence and to reflect on their commitment to national development.”