Malawi Kickstarts the YouthConnekt Platform

Regional Consultation Sessions for the YouthConnekt Malawi Chapter

December 20, 2022

Kickstarting the YouthConnekt in Malawi

UNDP Malawi

Malawi officially became one of the newest countries to join the YouthConnekt Africa as the 28th Member of the Multi-country platform, that is aimed at connecting African youth for socio-economic transformation.

To kickstart the newly inducted platform, Ministry of Youth and Sports, UNDP, and UNFPP held regional consultative sessions with over 300 youth representatives, to help build consensus on how to shape and position the platform to take into consideration the local context.

Speaking at one of the sessions, Netser Mdooko, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Lilongwe District Council welcomed the YouthConnekt Initiative as an ideal platform for young people. “I believe the YouthConnekt platform will be of great benefit to the Malawian youth who will be able to share their experiences on different innovative ideas for Malawi’s vision 2063”, said Mdooko.

Ruth Chavula who chairs a Youth Network and a Mzuzu District Council Youth Representative, also believes the platform will allow young people from rural communities to showcase their innovative solutions on a bigger level and allow for the world to see that Malawian youth are capable of serving as change makers.

The regional consultation sessions for the YouthConnekt Malawi chapter also provided a learning opportunity for the delegates who attended the 2022 Summit in Kigali, to share their experiences, inspire interest and stimulate discussions with other young people.

Speaking during one of the sessions, The Director under the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Malawi, Judith Msusa said; “It is our wish for the youth in Malawi to fully own this platform and take full advantage of it. We want its benefits in every corner of Malawi, without leaving anyone behind. From communities, districts, national level, the African regional level and beyond,” said Ms. Msusa.

In line with the goals of the Government of Malawi, UNDP in Malawi is working to promote young people as champions of the Sustainable Development Goals, with focus in political participation, economic empowerment, and resilience building.

“Young people need to be at the center of programming and decision-making and not just as beneficiaries. It is for this reason and more that UNDP is working with Government, the private sector, academia, and other development partners in finding new ways of empowering and connecting the youth to the best regional and continental best practices and learning opportunities,” said UNDP Malawi Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara.

Another participant in the sessions, Kenneth Mkandawire, who is the Chairperson for Rumphi district-based Technical Group for the Youth, hailed the consultation engagements as a positive initiative for the youth to deliberate on relevant activities that the Malawi Chapter will focus on. He said: “Young people in Malawi have been doing a lot of programmes on the ground but have had challenges to ensure that this benefits more people. Youthconnekt will therefore provide a platform for us to showcase on business opportunities, innovations, and other areas. This will also allow for more collaboration instead of working in silos.”

The YouthConnekt platform provides opportunities for the African youth to unleash their creativity and leadership in civic, economic, and political spheres aiming at a mindset change and transformation. The YouthConnekt Malawi Chapter is being implemented by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, with technical and financial support from UNDP.