‘Investment in youth critical for achieving development goals’

By James Kandoya , The Guardian
Published at 07:00 AM Apr 20 2024
Ambassador of Switzerland to Tanzania Didier Chassot
Photo: File
Ambassador of Switzerland to Tanzania Didier Chassot

THE United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has highlighted the need for sustainable investment in youth to realize the human capital that Tanzania requires to achieve its development goals.

Mark Bryan Schreiner, UNFPA country representative, said this in Dar es Salaam on Thursday during the launch of Phase II of the Safeguard Young People (SYP) Programme in Tanzania.

The launch of SYP was done in collaboration with the government and the Embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania and attended by over 100 young people.

He said that the first phase of SYP Programme clearly brought significant impact to the lives and wellbeing of young people in Tanzania. 

He said that across Tanzania, not all young people face the same reality when it comes to their education, health, wellbeing, decision-making and participation in various platforms.

Schreiner said there remains a high rate of teenage pregnancy, child marriage, HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) transmission.

He said sexual, physical, emotional and psychological violence remain common forms of violence affecting young people, adding that low education attainment and high unemployment rates continue.

Schreiner said youth with disabilities continue to be deprived of the opportunities for accessing education, health and employment that can help them reach their full potential.

“The SYP programme is a critical contribution, supporting Tanzania to unlock a unique opportunity to invest in the young human capital and reap the social and economic benefits – harnessing the so-called demographic dividend.  Now is the time for Tanzania!” he said.

He said young people must be supported holistically in their own diverse and often complex environments, so they can make informed decisions and realize their full potential.

Patrobas Katambi, Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Labour, Youth, Employment and Persons with Disability) commended the continued efforts by the UNFPA and the Embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania.

He said the programme is crucial to support youth in education and provide opportunities to overcome different challenges standing between them and their dreams.

Ambassador of Switzerland to Tanzania Didier Chassot said that his government as a partner recognizes the challenges that exist due to the high rate of population growth in Tanzania, especially young people.

He said the challenges affect health outcomes, especially related to reproductive health and nutritional issues.

The envoy said they also affect economic outcomes, especially due to lack of adequate skills, unemployment and psychological and social outcomes.