Support to empower the biggest age group in Tanzania’s workforce
Youth form a considerable portion of Tanzania’s labour force, making this group a single very influential part of the population. They are faced with many socio-economic problems including unemployment and challenges of accessing education and health services. The Tanzania Government has a special focus on Youth in its development plans and efforts. This include setting up mechanisms, directives, regulations and Laws/Acts that focus on interfacing Youth participation in national development. For example, currently the government has put in place mechanism at local government (LGAs) level where LGAs are supposed to set aside at least 4% of their internal revenues to empower youth in their areas.
In support of these national efforts, Foundation for Civil Society is supporting Youth Empowerment initiatives with a focus on increasing Youth voice and engagement in democratic governance, public policy development and implementation processes, mainly at District and sub-district levels.
How do we empower the Youth
FCS support to Youth Empowerment initiatives implemented by civil society organisations (CSOs) focus on the following strategies:
- Collaborations and partnerships with LGAs within set government mechanisms and structures.
- Put emphasis on work at district and sub-district levels to build foundation for national level.
- Establish and support Youth platforms to give Youth space and voice.
- Use Youth-friendly channels and methods of engagement, particularly artistic expression through music, drama, sports and other socio-tainment methods.
- Engage Youth champions and ambassadors, such as popular musicians, celebrities and local superstars.
Achievements so far
In FY 2017/18 FCS supported 15 organisations to implement Youth projects in six regions – Tanga, Arusha, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam, Mbeya and Coast. These projects are worth a total of more than Tzs 688mil.
FCS supported a range of innovative ways for youth and community mobilization by CSOs as follows:
- Youth mobilization through music by and engaging local musician Kala Jeremiah.
- Public campaigns and dialogues on addressing Youth issues through 108 formed Youth platforms and their local leaders.
- Educative sports and games as a means for youth mobilization especially in populated suburbs of Dar es Salaam such as Buguruni and Vingunguti Wards. Sports and games also acted as a positive interface platform between youth and their leaders.
- Use of information education and communication (IEC) materials such as banners, leaflets, flayers, t-shirts, pamphlets with materials relating to National Youth Policy of 2007.
- Education and awareness campaigns in communities.
- Capacity building on various issues including the National Youth Development Policy of 2007.
Results recorded so far
Youth platforms formed
A total of one hundred sixty (160) youth platforms at both Ward and District levels have been formed and are now acting as important avenue for dialogue between LGAs and youth networks.
Youth addressing their economic wellbeing
It is also becoming increasingly evident that young people prioritize their economic wellbeing over many other issues. Despite the projects being of a governance nature, whenever young people come together, they see the need to assist each other in income generating activities.
Government more responsive
In some of the project areas, the government is becoming more responsive to the needs of young people. Youth from Mkuranga in Cost region have formed income generating groups and obtain support (a plot) from local leaders for their activities. In Mwanza youth platforms have accessed loans, and they have begun to implement income generating activities such as batik making (tie and dye), producing liquid soap, opening small shops, poultry keeping, farming and garbage collection. In Dar es Salaam, there are efforts of providing Youth with loans for income generating activities. The Ilala Municipality for example, has allocated Tzs 600 million for youth loans. Youth in platforms are now in the process of finalizing their registration and consulting their community development officers to guide them on these opportunities.
Youth participation in review of the National Youth Policy (2007)
Strategic partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Youth Development has been formed by Youth Empowerment Cluster lead CSO, as part of the task force involved in process to set up the first draft of the National Youth Policy. This is a big step towards addressing youth matters in Tanzania. Already, recommendations for the new policy draft have been submitted to the government.
Increased youth involvement in democratic and good governance
Youth are being included in local government decision making structures, such as Ward Development Committees, Village and Street assemblies. There are positive reports and reviews from various Wards in Mbeya, Arusha, Mwanza, Tanga, Zanzibar (various regions) and Coast regions.
Increased youth mobilization
also, Youth increased Youth mobilization have started to bear positive results in enabling Youth support community development issues in their communities. These include participating in various initiatives such as infrastructure building following rain seasons.