President Peter Mutharika has called on African countries to invest more in the youth and women if the continent is to have meaningful economic growth.
Mutharika made the call while opening the 4th ordinary session of Pan-African Parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday May 8th, 2017.
Mutharika said women constitute almost half of the African population and that their empowerment is a vehicle for economic growth, adding women empowerment must begin with investing in the girl child of Africa.
He also noted that Africa is the youngest continent because the majority of its people are the Youth.
“About 60 percent of African population is the Youth under age of 35. Unfortunately, the population in the youth bracket is still growing and Africa must be braced for more alarming figures. As African Heads of State, we have agreed to make 2017 the Year of the Youth,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika added: “As a Pan-African Parliament, you are mandated to advocate the policies and objectives of the African Union. At the moment, the continent is unable to provide jobs for most of the Youth. This is creating a growing sense of alienation and frustration which is building up negative energy in our Youth.”
Mutharika said the youth are energetic people who want something meaningful to do with their lives but there isn’t much around.
“They are moving fast forward on a continent that is moving slowly. Unless we are belligerent to move fast, the African Youth will slip out of our fingers. Youth frustration breeds political radicalization. Youth poverty and joblessness can be the next cause for civil strife and political instability in Africa.
“Disenchantment and its subsequent radicalization can make our Youths vulnerable to outside forces of violent extremism and destruction. This is something that you and I can never, must never, and should never allow,” added Mutharika.
He therefore urged the continent to unite for the plight of its youth, saying it is a common mission for African leaders to create the destiny of the African youth.