Africa-Press – Lesotho. The Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation (MGYSR) Hon. Likeleli Tampane said there is a lack of youth participation in national issues. This she said during a televised address on Wednesday evening, addressing youth on the International Youth Day (IYD). “We are all alive to the fact that youth have not been engaged in national policies and strategic plans,” she highlighted.
She further said some of those directly affect youth. The Minister promised that her Ministry is about to wind up the National Youth Development Bill which aspires the
realisation of the National Youth Policy 2017- 2030 ideals. Of those, Tampane mentioned the establishment of the youth-focused centers and the inclusion of youthful voices in the country’s development issues. One youth activist said the country is “way back” as far as addressing the youth challenges. Ts’epo Hlotho charged that the country suffers lack of implementation. The Mafeteng based youth activist, further stated that the previous ministers of youth have been talking about the “same” thing but it is all talk which does not come to fruition. Hlotho
also took stock of the Youth Policy aspirations such as Youth Parliament which he said it has not been realized despite commitments made. Talking of the youth relationship with the
government, he said youth normally build networks with the office bearers with the aim of benefiting something. He also criticized the “practice” of elderly
people in strategic positions who decide and map way forward on youth related matters, adding that such positions should be occupied by youth who have a
better appreciation of the challenges that the youth face. “There is nothing for us without us,” he said. Asked what urgent youth matters the government
should address, he said it is that of lack of theatre halls, youth parliament, well resourced youth centers with indoor games and libraries with computers and
internet access. According to MGYSR the youth is someone aged between 15 and 35 years old. They are categorized into three groups depending on their age; 12-15 years are developing youth, 15-25 years are said to be well-developed youth while 25-35 years are young adults. The theme of International Youth Day (IYD) 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” as per the United Nations (UN).
This year’s IYD sets out to engage the youth through the following three streams:the engagement at the local or community level, engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation); and the engagement at the global level. The UN General Assembly in 1999 endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth at Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, held between 8 to 12 August 1998 that IYD be observed on that day. According to the United Nations (UN) this year’s theme “seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global
levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal
institutional politics can be significantly enhanced. ” “I call on leaders and adults everywhere to do everything possible to enable the world’s youth to enjoy lives of safety, dignity and opportunity and contribute to the fullest of their great potential,” urges António Guterres, the UN Secretary General.