By Ireen Kayira- Mana.
Youth led organisation Youth and Society (YAS) has said it was lobbying with government to adequately fund the loans board for more students to benefit.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency on Friday Youth and Society Executive Director, Charles Kajoloweka said this was one of the issues that discussed when the society met the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Felix Mlusu on Wednesday to brief him on the Youth Decide Campaign and the National Youth Manifesto.
He cited that with the Covid-19 the numbers of students to apply for loans was likely to rise.
“From the analysis we have seen from the Loans Board we expect to have about 22,000 applicants, these are young people who need support for them to continue with their education.
“The only institution that they can rely on is the Loans Board, therefore it is important that it is properly resourced so that it is able to provide loans to the needy students,” Kajoloweka said.
He said that board has projected its loans demand at K 17.1 billion against what was in the current budget at 9 billion.
“We are lobbying with the Minister to ensure that the Loans Board was adequately resourced and indeed K 17 .1 billion is given to the Loans Board to allow students to have access to these loans,” the Executive Director added.
He said these are needy young people who are coming from less privileged backgrounds therefore it would be imperative that they are properly supported to finish their education.
Kajoloweka said apart from the issue of the loans board they have has implored on the Minister to primarily use the youth manifesto as a resource for planning as government when it comes to youth development
“The National Youth Manifesto has 14 priority areas that young people themselves developed and these young people are using the Youth Manifesto to influence government’s allocation of resources as well as government policy,” he pointed out.
The Executive Director said the Ministry of Finance being the key ministry in government needs to embrace the national youth manifesto.
The National Youth Manifesto was launched in 2019 under the theme consolidating Malawi Youth Development agenda through a collective youth voice and agency.
Through this manifesto, youth are able to drive and facilitate government and political parties on inclusion of youth in their agendas.