Mtwara – Today, the U.S government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the government of Tanzania, launched a two-year $1.2 million activity aimed to support positive youth engagement and strengthen their participation in local governance processes.
In the next few years, the Tanzanian population will grow by 10 million people. The average Tanzanian is 17.5 years old, and 44 percent of the population is under the age of 15. In Mtwara region alone, approximately a third of the population are youth. Like youth around the globe, Mtwara’s youth face broad challenges, including access to education and employment as well as the desire to become more active in their communities.
Implemented by the International Rescue Committee, in collaboration with the Mtwara Society Against Poverty, and Door of Hope to Women and Youth Tanzania, the Youth-First! activity identifies and empowers young change makers who facilitate dialogues, mobilize their peers, lead awareness raising and empowerment activities in their communities, and serve as a link with local government, and traditional and faith leaders. Youth led organizations will also be empowered to strengthen youths’ voices in local governance.
Speaking at today’s event USAID Democracy Rights and Governance Office Director Bret Saalwaechter remarked, “It is crucial to have youth represented, participate in, and lead their communities. This is a collaborative effort, and I have no doubt that Tanzania's youth are ready and capable to take on new, and higher levels of leadership in service to the country.”