President Mnangagwa to Launch Rebranded National Youth Service Programme

Staff reporter

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is poised to inaugurate the revamped National Youth Service Programme at Nhakiwa Vocational Training Centre in Mashonaland East Province on the 24th of May 2024. The initiative aims to instill national orientation among Zimbabwe's youth while providing them with Vocational Training opportunities. The essence of the rebranding is to equip young Zimbabweans with practical skills and ensure they are not left redundant in the evolving socio-economic landscape.

The announcement was made by the ZANUPF National Secretary for Youth Affairs, Tinoda Machakaire, who emphasized the program's non-partisan nature and its inclusive approach towards all Zimbabwean youths. The Deputy Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, John Paradza, also endorsed the initiative, highlighting its significance in addressing youth unemployment and fostering economic empowerment.

At least a hundred youths are expected to attend the launch, with a majority hailing from Mashonaland East Province, and a representation from the remaining nine provinces. This signifies the widespread interest and support for the rebranded National Youth Service programme across the nation.

Speaking to this publication, Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Provincial Head, June Mbizo said, “central to the program's objectives is prioritizing funding for projects initiated by participating youths who have acquired skills through vocational training. Those already possessing skills will be given preferential treatment in employment opportunities, thereby ensuring a smooth transition from training to practical application.”

Mbizvo added that, “the rebranded National Youth Service programme seeks to dispel the political connotations previously associated with the initiative, emphasizing its apolitical stance and its focus on youth development and empowerment.” By removing these barriers, the program aims to attract a broader spectrum of participants and foster a sense of national unity and purpose among Zimbabwe's youth.

In a move to kickstart the program, the first enrolment is scheduled for June, accommodating up to a thousand youths. Dadaya Vocational Training Centre will host the bulk of the intake with a capacity for 750 students, while Vumba Vocational Training Centre will enrol the remaining 250.

With this reinvigorated National Youth Service programme, Zimbabwe is poised to harness the potential of its youth population, equipping them with the necessary skills and opportunities to contribute meaningfully to the nation's development agenda.