We, the Youth of Zambia, recognizing that we constitute almost half of the national population,
being fully aware of our great potential as critical drivers of Zambia’s development and governance
destiny, but being mindful of our terrible reality that to date we remain greatly excluded from the
shaping of the Agenda of our destiny, hereby present this manifesto as a collective voice of our
aspirations towards the realization of the National Vision 2030.
We acknowledge that as a country, Zambia has demonstrated commitment to our development and
empowerment by signing and ratifying international instruments including the Convention on the
Rights of the Child and the African Youth Charter. We further note that to ensure their effective
implementation, Zambia has domesticated these commitments into national laws and policies
including the following;
• The Constitution which guarantees youth with their right to participation in the economy and
governance of the country
• The National Development Council Act which seeks to coordinate the implementation and
evaluation of youth programs
• The National Youth Policy which aims to create an enabling environment for youths
participation in development
• The Education Act that guarantees access to education for all, youths development as well as
prohibiting child marriage.
• The Employment Act that provides the right to employment
• The Employment of the Young Person’s Act that prohibits young people from hazardous work.
• The Adolescent Health Strategy that seeks to ensure a health care system that is responsive
and friendly to young people.
• Citizenship Empowerment Programs that aim to provide financial resources to youth for
initiating businesses and other entrepreneurship activities.
We further observe that the national laws and policies notwithstanding, we continue to witness not
only poor implementation of these policies and strategies but also a great deal of mismanagement
of the limited resources made available. We note with regret that for decades young people have
been hardly visible in decision making structures such as local government, parliament, cabinet as
well as general structures of public administration.
Given that youth unemployment is high and job opportunities are limited and yet Zambia will largely depend on the young people in pursuing sustainable economic and social development, it is important to ensure that youth employment is put
as a major and prime development priority. The provision of gainful and long-term employment for young people has a great potential to reduce poverty and enhance economic prosperity for Zambia.
On this basis, we demand the following:
• Provision of 500,000 jobs per year targeting the youth. Within this, Government, in partnership with the Private Sector, must take lead in ensuring that the target is met within the stipulated time. Of this total number of jobs, three quarters (375,000) must be in
form of formal and long-term nature in order to provide us with the opportunity to embark upon and build sustainable work lives. A quarter (125,500) of these jobs should be informal in nature. Guided by the principles of gender mainstreaming and inclusion of the
interests and needs of PwDs, the prioritized