Mainstreaming of policies and institutions towards engendering a pro-youth, consensual and progressive empowerment policy in rural Zimbabwe.
Year: 2019 Working paper number: 443 Author: Promise Machingo Hlungwani, Sikanyiso Masuku, Martin Magidi Unit: CSSR
This article explores the impact of mainstreaming policies that seek to address the socio-economic challenges faced by out-of-school youth in rural Zimbabwe.
It seeks to examine and evaluate the current youth empowerment policies as well as the institutions that are mandated to execute the task, and to explore the
compatibility of these policies along with their intended goals of facilitating youth economic emancipation in a rural context. The study uses primary data collected
through in-depth and key informant interviews with youths, government ministries and non-governmental organizations operating in Mwenezi District of Masvingo Province. In evaluating the successfulness of youth empowerment policies in Zimbabwe, the paper corroborates the interview empirical findings with secondary data so as to provide a clearer understanding of youth empowerment policies in Zimbabwe. The paper notes some shortcomings within the current policy framework. Firstly, there is little to no consultation in formulating, designing and implementing policies. Secondly, a shortage of funds and the existence of corruption often hamper the implementation efforts. Thirdly, poor coordination between actor organizations has negatively impacted on the
deliverables. Panaceas to the realization of the youth empowerment agenda are thus argued in the paper as including context-specific policies that meet the real rural challenges as experienced by the rural youth and not imagined by policy makers or implementors. In coming up with such policies and programmes, the paper advocates for youth participation at every stage. The paper advances the view that it is prudent to empower institutions and policies that seek to enhance the welfare of youth in order to realize youth emancipation. By foregrounding the importance of mainstreaming youth policies as a conduit to enhancing their socioeconomic emancipation, this paper makes a significant contribution to the discourse on African youth empowerment.