On the 7th of November 2019, UNA Tanzania hosted a youth side session during the CSOs week. The main objective of this session was to foster meaningful youth participation in development and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Tanzania.
During the meeting, it was outlined that youth, women and Persons With Disabilities in rural areas do not fully utilize the council’s loans because they have insufficient knowledge on the whereabouts of these funds. As a result, it handicaps them from transforming their lives economically, socially, and politically – ultimately ruining their chance of participating in meaningful development issues.
Following these observations, Reynald Maeda – UNA Tanzania Secretary General – stressed on the importance of conducting proper research on the challenges youth face, to make CSO engagements effective and meaningful as opposed to focusing solely on seminars and trainings. Maeda also emphasized on the value of regularly following up on youth clusters participating in capacity building sessions and seminars to measure the level positive change these sessions make in their lives.
These observations led to the conclusion that youth need to participate in low level society meetings for a closer understanding of their societies. Secondly, they should take into consideration volunteering for various developmental groups rather than focusing solely on employment opportunities. Thirdly, women are encouraged to run for higher political positions to build their societies and challenge the gender equation. Additionally, continuous youth forums and platforms for sustainable youth discussions should be introduced to help contribute to meaningful youth participation in development issues. Finally, the government should lay foundation to youth regarding the 4-4-2 strategy through education on saving and business tips for sustainable engagement of youth.