The Ministry of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation is opening a platform for young innovators from all walks of life with an opportunity to showcase their work to the Government and stand a chance to secure technical and financial support for their innovations as part of this year’s National Youth Day Commemorations.

In a statement to the media, the minister of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation Dr. Kirsty Coventry said the ministry through the Zimbabwe Youth Council, National Arts Council, Sports and Recreation Commission, and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe had lined up an online, two-day, fun-filled and enlightening programme to celebrate National Youth Day from 25-.26 February 2021.

“As Zimbabwe embarks on transforming into an upper-middle-class economy by 2030, this year’s celebrations will seek to capture the voices, actions and initiatives of young people to combat the pandemic and its effect s to retard socio-economic development,” she said.

The Minister said Zimbabwean youths have over the years showed an insatiable thirst to make the country the great place it is as they are innovative, valiant, and brilliant.

“The Ministry of Youth Sport Arts and recreation is proud of our youths and will take advantage of every opportunity to provide young people with opportunities for growth and participation in the broader national economy,” Dr. Coventry said.

The 21st of February is National Youth Day. The day was proclaimed and instituted by Government in 2017 in order for the nation to recognise and celebrate the contributions made by the youths throughout the history of the country as well as for the young people to recognise and emulate the leadership values which include: patriotism, self-sacrifice, hard work, respect, dignity, compassion among others.

Since then, the day has been commemorated annually and the youth in Zimbabwe have embraced this day as an opportune moment to celebrate the fruits of long and hard-won independence and to reflect on their contribution to national development.

Minister Coventry said Zimbabwe had not been spared from the devastations of the Corona Virus Disease of 2019, Covid-19.

“The pandemic has impacted on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Zimbabweans. Young people who lead active and adventurous lives have been impacted the worst by the global pandemic. Ironically, as the world adjusts to a new normal where ICTs have become the answer to the demands of daily activities, it is the resilience, easy adaptation and innovativeness of young people that is called upon,” she said.

The minister said the government of Zimbabwe is ever cognizant of the ever-changing global trends and with it the needs and experiences of young people. She said the National Youth Day is a window of opportunity for engaging young people, to hear their views and opinions, to create a dialogue with the government aimed at bridging intergenerational gaps, and most importantly to act on the needs of every young person.