The minister was addressing African youths during the breakout session on “key regional priorities for youth development in Sub-Saharan Africa” during the just-concluded United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum 2016 in New York, USA.
Mr. Mwale urged African Governments to put the young people at the centre of their national development.
The Minister expressed concern about the mismatch between the skills that tertiary education institutions were imparting in students and the requirements of the labour market.
“We have young people that graduate from universities and colleges but do not have the right skills that are required on the market. The education system is kind of misplaced,” Mr. Mwale said. “What is needed is the right education to provide the right skills that are required. One of the best ways to eradicate poverty in Africa will be through the provision of the right skills to our youths.”
Mr. Mwale urged African youths to be innovative and turn the natural resources into finished product.
He said improving the manufacturing industry would reduce Africa’s dependence on imports.
“We have enough resources to produce sufficient goods and services within Africa and provide job opportunities for every young person on the continent,” said Mr. Mwale. “We need young people to engage with the Government.”
The Youth Forum 2016 under the theme: “Youth Taking Action to Implement the 2030 Agenda” attracted over 1000 participants, including 21 Ministers, international organisations’ leaders, UN agencies, civil society leaders and youths from across the globe at UN Headquarters on 1st and 2nd February, to chat the way forward on youths’ participation in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).