CALL FOR INCREASED BUDGET ALLOCATION TO THE MINISTRY OF YOUTH AND SPORTS DEVELOPMENT
The Youth Act Alliance is a network that has a membership of over 35 youth led organizations across the country. The Alliance’s secretariat is Child Rights Information Documentation (CRIDOC) which is responsible for coordination and day-to-day operations. The network is composed of the National Advocacy Platform, Regional and District Advocacy Platforms.
2.0 Vision Statement
Safeguarding children and young people in maternal, newborn, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and HIV health care programs in Malawi through advocacy.
2.1 Mission Statement
A platform of youth led organizations that advocate for improved service delivery, quality and equitable access to youth and child friendly health services in the circles of maternal, newborn, sexual reproductive health and rights, HIV and AIDS, and youth and child rights at local and national levels in Malawi.
3.1 To build capacity of the Alliance’s membership and mobilize resources in support for its membership.
3.2 To advocate for quality, equity and improved service delivery in the areas of sexual and reproductive health rights for young people at local and national levels in youth and child friendly health services manner.
3.3 To foster networking, collaboration and information sharing among its membership
3.4 To advocate for youth social, economic justice and youth inclusion in decision making positions in order to realize youth demographic dividend.
4.0 Situation Analysis
In Malawi, 60% of the population are young people below the age of 24. Young people aged 25-35 years account for 17%; meaning that 77% of the population of Malawi are young people. The majority of these young people face various social and economic challenges such as early marriages and teen pregnancy, unsafe abortions, high school dropouts, unemployment, exclusion, poor youth friendly services provision and accessibility, low access to comprehensive sexuality education, low investment in youth programming, socio-economic injustice and inequality, high rates of HIV infections and Sexually Transmitted infections (STIs), just to mention a few.
However, while the Government has on several occasions promised and developed ambitious policies on youth programmes, there still remains a yawning gap in terms of translating the programmes into practice. The youth sector is marred by underfunding whenever resources are made available in executing the programmes, politicization come into play.
We, the youth from all the three regions of Malawi strongly disapprove the decision of Parliament and Executive arms of the Government in trimming the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development budget allocation from MK 1.1 Billion Kwacha to 600 Million Kwacha.
We register our concern to the August House and the Executive to rescind the decision and increase the budget allocation to the Ministry as 1.1Billion Kwacha as this was not enough already.
The 2014/2015 financial year budget allocation to the Ministry of Youth with 1.1Billion Kwacha budget beak down (analysis) was as follows;
ORT K 120,605,905
Personal Emoluments K 259,822,126
Development Part II K 690,000,000
TOTAL K 1,070,428,031
Distribution of ORT within the Ministry Departments
Total ORT K 120,605,905
Administration K 57 Million
Department of Youth K 36 Million
Department of Sports K 26 Million
Total budget for the ministry represented 1% of the national budget
In 2013, a budget of 120 million kwacha was presented by NYCOM to Ministry of Finance; however only 50 million kwacha was given. Yet the annual wage bill for NYCOM was 45 million kwacha. The remaining 5 million was not even adequate for rentals, utilities, vehicles etc. It was just another dead year for NYCOM and all the youth. Similarly, the 2014/15 budget for NYCOM is around 160 million kwacha, but only 55 million kwacha has been earmarked.
Again 2014/2015 also seems to be a dead year as the Mid-Year Budget Review has trimmed the budget to 600 Million Kwacha. This, essentially, means that the 600 Million Kwacha is earmarked for salaries and administrative operations only.
The reduced budget allocation means that there is zero budget to the Youth Reproductive Health Rights and HIV services, Youth Leadership and Participation, Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), National Youth Service, Youth Centre and Recreational facilities, Complimentary Education, Youth Economic Empowerment, Formal and Informal Vocational Training and the construction of a Multi-Purpose Youth Centre in Mzuzu is now a white elephant. This is automatically deterring national youth development as the industrious, energetic, innovative population is being sidelined.
As a significant demographic dividend of the county’s population, the youth strongly oppose the decision made by Parliament and the Executive because the government is not bigger than the entities that voted it into power, in this case we – young people. It is the obligation of the Government to ensure that young people benefit equitably from the tax payers money. We believe that the priority of trimming the budget should have, instead, gone to the Malata subsidy.
It is our constitutional right for the state to provide basic social amenities through the national budget. The current position has propelled us to demand for the rescinding the decision by Parliament and the Executive in trimming the budget allocation to the youth sector before the Parliament rises. We, the youth pay taxes too and we deserve to be a priority within priorities in as far as realization of demographic dividend is to be achieved across the country.
According to the provision under Chapter I of the Republican Constitution of Malawi, “the authority to govern derives from the people of Malawi as expressed through universal and equal suffrage in elections held in accordance with this Constitution in a manner prescribed by an ACT of Parliament”. In this context; we demand our power to govern by calling the Parliament and the Executive arms to reverse the decision made.
Chairperson National Coordinator