Harnessing the Potential of Malawi’s Young Population

August 15th, 2022 | News

Malawi has a youthful population – the 2018 census revealed that 51% of the population is under 18. Yet, 2.4 million young people, or 41 % of school-aged children, do not have access to primary and secondary education.  If the talents and skills of young people are built and harnessed, Malawi’s young population can drive its socio-economic development, in line with the Malawi 2063 strategy.

Developing the potential of youth as change-makers requires involving and empowering them in development and policy, supporting their meaningful participation at all levels.  This year, Malawi commemorated International Youth Day on August 12th to spread awareness of the importance of young people and their contributions to society.

The celebration:

  • Engaged youth meaningfully and provided safe spaces for youth to discuss challenges and solutions;
  • Linked youth to opportunities in business, employment, education, programming capacity strengthening initiatives, advocacy, partnerships, and community mobilization;
  • Advocated for investment in young people’s capabilities and learned from the experiences and effective responses of public-private partnerships;
  • Provided a platform for cross-learning on youth initiatives from Government, development partners, private sector, civil society organizations, and youth themselves. 

The Ana Patsogolo Activity participated in the celebration, showcasing the DREAMS program Siyakha model that provides vocational training in trades like welding, tailoring, and cosmetology for adolescent girls and young women. The girls connected with other young people, sharing the various skills they acquired and how they were utilizing them to transform their lives. The Siyakha model is an evidence-based, market-driven approach which enhances employability and absorption into the labor market through either wage employment or entrepreneurship.  Since 2021, 1,032 young women have received vocational training, business skills training, and employment opportunities through Siyakha.

The Ana Patsogolo Activity is a five-year PEPFAR and USAID-funded project led by the Bantwana Initiative of World Education and implemented by four Malawian NGOs in eight HIV high-burden districts in southern Malawi. Ana Patsogolo delivers Siyakha through DREAMS programming in three districts.

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