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REPUBLIC OF MALAWI

SPEECH
BY
HIS EXCELLENCY PROF ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
DURING
THE NATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE

BINGU INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE

FRIDAY, 22ND JANUARY 2016

Your Excellency Madam Gertrude Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi;
Rt. Hon. Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi and Madam
Mary Chilima;
The Minister of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development, Hon. Henry Mussa, MP;
All Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers here present;
Hon Ecklen Kudontoni, Secretary General of the DPP and all members of the National
Governing Council of the party here present;
UN Resident Coodinator, Ms Mia Seppo and all heads of Diplomatic Missions here present;
The Chief Secretary to the Government, Mr. George Mkondiwa;
All Senior Government Officials here present;
All Young People representing fellow youth across the country;
Distinguished Invited Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen

I have come to be with you because this is one of the most important meetings I can think of.
You speak of the youth, and you have spoken my heart, and my soul. I believe, as Nelson
Mandela did, that the soul of a society is its youths and children.
Wherever the youth gather, there gathers the future! Your aspirations are my aspirations, and
your dreams are my dreams. And let my vision be your vision.
To me, it is not enough to build a future for the youth, but to build the youth for the future.
Let us prepare ourselves for a better Malawi.
Yes, I came to preside over this National Youth Conference. Yes, I came also to launch the
National Youth Status Report. But, the treasures I take back to my office are your aspirations
and dreams. I am pleased that you gave me an opportunity to interact with you, to listen to
your concerns, and to hear your dreams. And I am taking home your suggestions and
proposed solutions.
When I moved around, everything I have seen tells an inspiring story of the huge potential in
the youth of this country. This potential must be supported.
Let me assure you that I am resolved to uplift the welfare of the youth in this country. I have
my Government to this cause. As I change and drive Malawis economy towards the road of
direct investment, I also believe in investing in the youth.
If Malawi is to move forward and become a prosperous nation, then we must invest in the
youth. We have no choice but to put the youth in the driving seat because the youth
constitutes the majority of our population. You are an economic force to reckon with. And in
any political calculus, you are a political force that cannot be ignored. That is how much you
matter to this country. And that is how much I count on you!
We just cannot afford to do nothing. If we cannot invest in the youth now, we will pay the
heavy cost of addressing the adverse social and economic effects of our inaction. As we often
say, better prepare than repair!
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, there are many challenges facing the youth. But sometimes, we are their challenge
because we dont recognize the talents, the capabilities, and the strengths in the youth. We,
adults are often selfish. We are always waiting for the youth to grow up. Or even worse; we
always look at youth as a pack of problems to be solved. Why cant we look at them as
solutions? Malawians, let us change our mindset!
To me, and my Government, the youth are the solution to some of the problems we face. And
I am determined to invest in the youth all the way.
I want us to create employment and create wealth. And I find the solution in the youth. I want
Malawi to be a nation of highly skilled people for us to become a producing and exporting
nation. And the solution lies in the youth. That is why we are investing in the establishment
of Community Technical Colleges in every community, and every part of this country. After
we have given the youth the right skills, the next stage will be to give the youth access to

financial capital. That is the plan. We have started a process of making the youth the engine
of our drive to make Malawi a producing and exporting nation. I do not doubt, that one day,
most of you will remember that Peter Mutharika started an economic revolution! It may be
slow, but we will Malawi a better place!
If we believe in the youth as I do; if only we can believe what we can do with the youth, we
can make poverty history. We just need to give our youth the right skills and enable them to
participate! History will tell you wherever you go that employment of creation through skills
development is the only sustainable way of eradicating poverty. With direct investment and
skills development, we can move Malawi from an Third World Country to a First World
Country. Others have done it, and we can do it!
But, we must learn to listen to the youth. The National Youth Status Report that I am about to
launch brings out many issues which are a reflection of the voice of the youth of Malawi.
You can categorise the issues as Health, Education, Employment, Protection and
Participation.
I am a listening President, and I will make sure that the whole system must respond to these
issues. We will take appropriate action, timely and decisive action!
We will move to address all policy gaps. In particular, we will ensure that the new Malawi
Growth and Development Strategy III which will be formulated this year clearly articulates
issues of youth empowerment and participation. And I want those two words to appear as
directed because there are times you empower people and you dont allow them to
participate. The youth must be empowered and they must be allowed to participate!
And Mr. Chief Secretary, you must see to it that all sectors of the government do put in place
strategies and policies that address these central issues. Let us take advantage of the youthful
bulge in our countrys population. All ministries and departments must ensure that their
policies are youth friendly.
To the youth of Malawi, I urge you to be made of the right core values and Malawian
character. If you are a Malawian, then you must be patriotic, you must have a high sense of
integrity, and you must be hard working!
Be patriotic and be proud to be Malawian. Our God did not create us lesser than, or inferior to
those great nations that we know. And you must be a person of high integrity being highly
principled, being honest, and being disciplined. And you must be determined and
hardworking in whatever you do. In whatever you, do it with all your mind, do it all your
spirit, and all your strength! And you will succeed in whatever you do!
I wish you success. And I now declare this National Youth Conference opened; and the
National Youth Status Report officially launched.
Thank You! May God Bless You All! And God Bless Malawi!

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