Youths Lobby for Inclusive Policy

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) youths are lobbying the Bulawayo city council to adopt a comprehensive youth policy.

The youths presented their ‘Bulawayo Model Youth Policy’ to the BCC for the latter’s consideration at a recent meeting at the Revenue Hall.

BVTA’s Assistant Programs Manager, Mthandazo Bhebhe emphasized the importance of including youths in development processes.

“Enabling the participation of young people is key and allows them to make claims and hold government to account,” he said.

Upon realising that council had no such policies, we came up with our own model that we we want the council to consider. The policy seeks to prioritize youths. It seeks to ensure that young people effectively contribute to the development of the city and country,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Mlandu Ncube acknowledged that not much has been done for the youths as a result of a dearth of youth representatives in the council in past years.

“For years this city has neglected the youth. In 2008, the youngest councillor was 59 but in 2013 we tried to ensure more young people come in and currently we have around 9 young people in local authorities. We hope to have more in the coming years.

The only youth policy that we have only talks about the need for youth centres. It does not talk about youths being involved in the leadership of the city or the economics of the city. I hope this proposal has incorporated all the things which are not in the old policy. We appreciate the move by BVTA and I promise that we will look into this policy as a matter of urgency,” Ncube said.

The model youth policy is a product of recommendations made at an informal traders’ policy meeting held under the Strengthening the Livelihoods and Resilience (STELAR) program.

Source: Community Podium

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