Towards the national commemoration of the International Youth Day 2018 in August 12, 2018, the Government of Tanzania and development partners include DSW Tanzania, UN agencies; UNFPA and ILO, Pathfinder International , Restless development, and other youth focused organizations organized a Youth Symposium.
The Youth Symposium took place in August 11, 2018 at East African Community Headquarters in Arusha. The symposium involved youth representatives from different groups such as entrepreneurs, university students, disabled, youth networks and clubs that are facilitated by development partners and CSOs.
The Guest of Honor was the Arusha Regional Administrative Secretary, Mr. Richard Kitwega who represented Arusha Regional Commissioner. Other distinguished delegates that addressed the youth symposium include: Peter Owaga, DSW Tanzania Country Director, Generose Minami, East African Community (EAC) Gender Development officer, Mr. Eliakimu Mtawa, officer from the Ministry of Youth, Dr. Majaliwa Marwa, UNFPA representative; Restless Development Country Director, Suzy Ally; Pathfinder Country Director, Dr. Joseph Komwihangiro.
Addressing the symposium, Arusha Regional Administrative Secretary, Mr. Richard Kitwega explained the different efforts done by the Government of Tanzania in empowering youth such as each District Council has set aside 5% include 1% for disabled youth from their revenue collection to provide loans to youth groups who are engaging in entrepreneurship. He added that the Arusha Region has been collaborating with different development partners in providing different opportunities for youth through health education and interventions.
Ms. Generose Minami, East African Community (EAC) Gender Development officer, stressed on pushing agenda for Youth in East African Community (EAC). She advised the youth to actively engage in discussion and make the deliberations that will benefit them.
Mr. Peter Owaga, DSW Tanzania Country Director explained the importance of youth to set goals, have purpose in life and be focused on what they want to achieve. He emphasized the youth to ensure they purposely engage in decision making process so that they can meaningful contribute to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Some of the key topics that were presented by development partners and discussed with the youth during the symposium include: (a) Government efforts on ensuring safe places for youth participation and inclusion (b) Reaping the demographic dividend by investing in youth, Youth safe and Healthy for industrial development drive in Tanzania: Youth employability and entrepreneurship and (d) contributing to the emotional well-being of youth: The importance of life skills and integrated needs from Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and Gender Based Violence( GBV).
The Youth Resolutions:
At the end of the symposium the youth made the resolutions which were to be presented at the national commemoration of International Youth Day on August 12, 2018. The resolutions made during the symposium were based on four categories as follows: (a) The Youth with special needs considered and given opportunities in education, economic, political and health especially services on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). (b) Empowerment of Youth in economy: Employment and Entrepreneurship needs to be strengthened and involve skills building for youth in vocational trainings, entrepreneurship Agri business, marketing and e- commerce. (c) Importance of Life Skills Education for Youth needs to be emphasized to reflect on self – esteem, decision making and psycho social support and these need to be reflected for in and out of school youth. (d) Sexual Reproductive Health ( SRH) and Gender Based Violence (GBV) need to be emphasized so that more youth friendly services to be available through facilities, health services providers and peer educators, prevention of early child marriages and early pregnancies should be strengthened through implementation of the laws and strategies that exist.