Restless Development Zambia convened approximately 50 young people from around Zambia to provide a youth consultation supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on their vision for the Post-2015 Development Goals. UNFPA is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.
This consultation has been apart of ongoing consultation by the UN Zambia to engage young people in the formulation of tangible goals that will impact their lives until the year 2030. This consultation is timely, as people from around the world are evaluating the successes and challenges of the Millennium Development Goals which are scheduled to elapse by 2015.
This youth consultation has two main objectives:
1. To review and provide feedback on how the MDGs affected young people’s communities; and,
2. To develop a vision and defining principles from a youth perspective for the next development framework.
Overall, the youth find that while Zambia has made some progress in some of the MDG goals, the overall impact of MDGs have not trickled down to some of the most vulnerable people in Zambia including: women, children, youth, the disabled, and rural-dwellers. Zambia still is lacking the appropriate trained staff, equipment, facilities, and information dissemination, particularly in health related and education fields. Furthermore, due to a lack of employment, educational opportunities post-primary school, and recreational activities / facilities, Zambia youth are engaging in risky behavior, including: unsafe sexual reproduction health (SRH) practices; alcohol and substance abuse; and gender based violence. Furthermore, Zambia youth find that its leadership has engaged in one-sided development, where developed countries have an advantage in partnership agreements, and money invested into Zambia fails to trickle down to the most vulnerable people. As Zambia continues to develop, it is important for its leadership to prioritize environmental sustainability, as the following conditions are rampant: lack proper sanitation; lack of access to safe drinking water; lack of sustainable sources of energy (especially concerning rural electrification; lack of recycling efforts; and, lack of enforcement of regulations on proper disposal of garbage (plastics).
Top-10 Post-2015 Priorities for Zambian Youth
3. Education (particularly access and funding for secondary and tertiary education)
4. Gender Based Violence and Early Marriages
5. Sexual Reproduction Health
6. Alcohol and drug abuse
7. Health (adequate equipment, facilities, and trained health care professionals)
8. Public Participation (ownership in development)
9. Poor sanitation
10. Attention to those who are Disabled or have Special-Needs
Zambia-led Youth Solutions
1. Encourage youth entrepreneurship, and reduce high-education and experience level requirements for employment
2. Sensitize the rural areas on the importance of education
3. Free education from primary to tertiary levels for the less privileged
4. Incorporate gender equality sensitization of ladies on high self esteem
5. Increase access to contraceptives and information on how to use them properly.
6. Invest in youth recreational facilities
7. Bring health facilities near areas/ improve access to clean and safety water/ involving other stakeholders
8. At all levels engage / involve youth in participatory planning and development
9. Improve access to clean and safety water
10. Provide facilities and qualified teachers for the Disable and Special-Needs students
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