Lusaka. June 19, 2014.
LUSAKA – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) engaged over 100 stakeholders in discussions at the YouthMap Zambia: Youth Voices, Finding Solutions dissemination event on June 19. The event highlighted key findings from the recently released YouthMap Zambia assessment that focused on young people’s access to health, education, work, and civic/political participation.
YouthMap, a USAID-funded activity implemented by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and Ipsos Zambia, is a holistic assessment of the opportunities and challenges youth are facing in Zambia. Surveying over 400 young people, the assessment identified several key priority issues, including the need for youth to acquire practical employment experience, to access youth-friendly health services, and to participate in their community decision-making processes. By engaging young people from all levels of society, the YouthMap Zambia assessment has taken initial steps in identifying and voicing the goals of Zambia’s youth.
“The United States government is wholeheartedly committed to the youth of Zambia,” said Dr. Susan Brems, USAID/Zambia Mission Director. “Through activities like today’s discussion of the YouthMap assessment and President Obama’s Washington Fellows initiative, we are confident the voice of Zambia’s young leaders will continue to grow, improving the future for all youth in Zambia.”
During the dissemination event, USAID facilitated an active discussion among Zambian youth, the Zambian government, private sector companies, civil society, community service organizations, and international thought leaders. Topics offered a diverse perspective on youth issues, most importantly from young Zambians themselves. The audience discussed ways forward with stakeholders with whom they otherwise may not have had the opportunity to share an open dialogue. By the end of the day, participants had made personal commitments to motivate action on several key youth issues.
In addition to YouthMap, the U.S. government will continue to support youth in Zambia through a variety of academic and cultural exchange programs, including EducationUSA, President Obama’s Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative, the Business and Entrepreneurship Exchange Program, and the PanAfrican Youth Leadership Program. Visit us online to learn more: https://zm.usembassy.gov/, http://www.facebook.com/usembassyzambia, and http://www.facebook.com/USAIDZambia.