The Jesuit Centre for Theoretical Reflection (JCTR) has called on government to ensure its development policies prioritize youth development and economic empowerment.

“Government and other players in development must carry out self-introspection to establish and urgently address the cause of youth unproductivity, marginalization and despondency,” JCTR said.

The Centre said one of the ways of addressing the needs of the youth in the country is by stopping rampant mismanagement of public funds to avoid wastage and channel such resources to job creation.

JCTR said this in a statement  issued in commemoration of the National Youth Day which is celebrated on  12th March every year.

The Centre further called on the general citizenry, especially the youth to actively get involved in holding the government and other duty bearers accountable.

JCTR said as the country commemorates Youth Day, the Zambian youths continue to face numerous challenges which include among others high unemployment and a limited opportunity to access and attain tertiary education.

“Current youth unemployment levels have been estimated in the range of 10.5 to 15.4 percent,” the centre said.

JCTR further added that the challenges  youths continue to face have robbed the majority of them an opportunity to contribute to the social economic development of the country.

“Current development policies and their implementation have failed to contribute positively to addressing the needs of the Zambian youth,”JCTR said.

Meanwhile the Zambia Youth Platform (ZYP) said the framing of this year’s youth day theme reaffirms the fact that the current youth generation has endowments which could lift the youth out of the social and economic challenges being faced.

ZYP National Coordinator Sibu Malambo said with the right empowerment and appropriate engagement the Zambian youth would not only positively affect their lives but contribute a great deal to the economic fortunes of Zambia as a whole.

Zambia is today commemorating Youth Day under the theme “Zambian Youth; Generation Unlimited”.