On every 12th March, Zambia celebrates Youth Day to remind the nation’s youth of its contribution to Zambian society. Zambia has a very large population of young people, many of whom live in dire poverty. Therefore, the emphasis is also on helping young people overcome economic and social challenges on Zambia’s Youth Day.12th March is also remembered for the youth of 1962 who sacrificed their lives for the freedom struggle of Zambia.
In Zambia, youth unemployment continues to be a major challenge. According to the World Bank, young people make up about two-thirds of the country’s working-age population and almost one-fifth of them are unemployed. Only a small proportion of the young generation is working in the public sector. Generally, organized work in the sector is difficult to find. The private sector is suffering, not least because of the blackouts of electricity and high energy costs. The economy has slowed down lately.
Crime and abuse of drugs are all too common. Most young people leave school. In addition, early marriages, early puberty and HIV / AIDS infections mark this generation. Zambia has signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) UN 2030 Plan. It has its own vision for 2030 and aims to become a prosperous middle-income country.
UNFPA partnered with the Action Aid Global Platform Zambia at the end of 2016, which hosted the Lusakas “Young Hub” in order to build youth’s social and economic assets, especially young girls, and subsequently allow them to participate effectively in national and local development processes. The Youth Hub is a forum for capacity building, dialogue between young people around sexual and reproductive health and other civic issues and a venue for free discussion of and the cross-pollination of ideas with other networks around the world and a very popular hang out for many young people in Lusaka.
The Youth Centre has been recognized and used as a safe hub for youth development in Lusaka by the United Nations Youth Partnership Network in Zambia and by government institutions, including the Ministry of Youth and international organizations.
Zambia Youth Day celebrations
Zambia celebrates Youth Day with the street march, where young people are involved in socio-civic events and sports that develop and appreciate their young people. Young groups such as the Grass-Root Soccer host annual parades to raise awareness of youth issues related to legal, health and economics. The local government organizes sporting events for the youth in collaboration with non-governmental organizations.
Youth empowerment should focus on changing the mindset and community of the young generation towards Education and motivation because if a sufficient number of people become successful entrepreneurs, they will dramatically improve the job situation for everyone.