Swaziland State of Youth Report 2015: A useful national resource
On the 8th of December 2016, the Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs, Honorable David Ngcamphalala, officially launched the Swaziland State of Youth (SOY) Report 2015 at a breakfast meeting attended by government representatives, civil society partners, UN agencies, development partners and the media.
The report is a collation of national demographic data and information on the youth population of Swaziland and provides a comprehensive analysis of the realities and/or challenges faced by the young people. It highlights their demographics and how well youth are doing on a number of national development indicators, such as education, training, poverty, health (including reproductive health), leadership and employment.
It is a useful national resource not only for the young people of Swaziland, but also for any organization that works with or for the benefit of young Swazis or that is involved in advocacy work on youth issues.
In his keynote address on behalf of the Honorable Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs, the Acting Principal Secretary, Henry Zeeman thanked the Ministry of Education & Training; Ministry of Health; and Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration & Development and all civil society partners for their collaborative efforts with the Ministry of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs in the production of the report. On behalf of the Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs, he also extended appreciation to the United Nations Population Fund for the technical and financial support received under the Safeguard Young People (SYP) programme.
UNFPA Representative, Sharareh Amirkhalili, in her remarks also applauded the three ministries and civil society partners for their collaborative work that ensured the successful production of the State of the Youth Report. She noted that the report provides a succinct picture and reference point on the numbers of youth, where they are, and how they are doing on a number of national development indicators, namely education, training, poverty, health (including sexual and reproductive health), leadership and employment.
“It is therefore a very useful resource not only for the young people of Swaziland, but also for any organization that works with or for the benefit of young Swazis,” she remarked. She concluded by encouraging all national stakeholders that work in youth issues to fully utilize the Swaziland State of the Youth Report strategically and comprehensively to direct their investments to the young people of Swaziland.
In both their statements, Zeeman and Amirkhalili pointed to the fact that Swaziland has a very youthful population - one that holds the potential for the country to harness the demographic dividend. They noted that it was, therefore, vital that this population group remains at the center of all national development agendas.