The CSO week, organized by the Foundation of the Civil Society, brought together Tanzanian Civil Societies and the Government with great success in strengthening the partnership for development as partners of the government.
As the slogan itself was, ‘UBIA KWA MAENDELEO’ which means “PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT” over 70 Civil Society Organizations attended and showcased what they do and the impact they have on the society.
UNA Tanzania participated fully in the exhibitions during the CSO WEEK 2019, attracting all people and spreading more information on what it focuses on Democracy, Good Governance, Peace and Security and Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals as a major target to be achieved by 2030 in Tanzania.
We also conducted a panel side event with the theme, “Fostering Meaningful Youth Participation in Development: For us by us, with us!” A discussion to steer and press on creative ways to meaningful partnering with youth as real actors and contributors to the country’s development. This aimed to pass and gain information from youth attending on the matters of development and how much youth are involved through opportunities provided by the government, international and local organizations. Over 100 youth attended and contributed to the theme bringing in their experiences from their societies. The panel was so interactive and came up with strong contributions to the discussion.
This steered a number of questions and contribution to the topic. More attention was put on matters that hold weight in the criterion to foster development which are; Gender Equality, Access to Information, Education and foundation to use the set amount of fund in the Municipal councils, Volunteering in development projects, and overall efforts made by the youth and the government collaboratively.
UNA Side Session: Fostering Meaningful Youth Participation In Development; For Us, By Us, With Us.
On the 7th of November 2019, UNA Tanzania hosted a youth side session during the CSOs week. The main objective of this session was to foster meaningful youth participation in development and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Tanzania. During the meeting, it was outlined that youth, women and Persons With Disabilities in rural areas do not fully utilize the council’s loans because they have insufficient knowledge on the whereabouts of these funds. As a result, it handicaps them from transforming their lives economically, socially, and politically – ultimately ruining their chance of participating in meaningful development issues. Following these observations, Reynald Maeda – UNA Tanzania Secretary-General – stressed on the importance of conducting proper research on the challenges youth face, to make CSO engagements effective and meaningful as opposed to focusing solely on seminars and trainings.
Maeda also emphasized the value of regularly following up on youth clusters participating in capacity building sessions and seminars to measure the level positive change these sessions make in their lives. These observations led to the conclusion that youth need to participate in low-level society meetings for a closer understanding of their societies. Secondly, they should take into consideration volunteering for various developmental groups rather than focusing solely on employment opportunities.
Lastly, women are encouraged to run for higher political positions to build their societies and challenge the gender equation. Additionally, continuous youth forums and platforms for sustainable youth discussions should be introduced to help contribute to meaningful youth participation in development issues. Finally, the government should lay foundation to youth regarding the 4-4-2 strategy through education on saving and business tips for sustainable engagement of youth.