A group photo of youths attending Tanzania Youth Forum 2023.

In an exciting prelude to Youth Month, the Tanzania Youth Forum took place on August 3rd and 4th in Dodoma, Tanzania. The event was attended by prominent figures including the Public Relations and Resources Mobilization representative for TMA, who shared their insights and expertise. This dynamic gathering saw the enthusiastic participation of around 500 youths from diverse backgrounds across the nation.


One of the key takeaways from the forum was the profound impact that youth-led NGOs have on our local communities. Participants stressed the need for the government to explore innovative ways to incentivize and provide support (ruzuku) to these youth-driven initiatives. This resonated strongly with the overarching theme of the event – that investing in youth is pivotal to bringing about the transformative changes Africa requires. The consensus was clear: it is time for the youth to steer this prestigious continent towards a promising future while nurturing principles of good governance.


Amidst the spirited discussions, a vision for youth emerged – one that is dynamic, proactive, and solution-oriented. A summary of research findings on youth participation in leadership and democracy yielded a remarkable 12 resolutions. Deliberations also centered on strategies to enhance the capabilities of youth-led NGOs. The forum highlighted the importance of programs like incubation, mentorship, and cost-sharing arrangements to empower these organizations.


An inspiring aspect of the forum was the emphasis on enabling youth to “raise queries” – to spark discussions and take charge of solving their own challenges. This spirit of self-empowerment underpinned the entire event.


During the second day, participants engaged in breakout sessions, delving into various themes. Notably, the room that focused on youth inclusion and participation in leadership and decision-making showcased vibrant dialogues. Delegates recognized the critical role of young people in influencing decisions at all levels. Topics including the digital landscape, environmental policies, leadership, governance, creativity, and inclusive democracy took center stage.


A significant announcement came in the form of a revelation about funds for youth. The government of the United Republic of Tanzania declared the successful review of procedures for disbursing the 10 percent local council loan scheme, dedicated to empowering women, youth, and individuals with disabilities. This review, following earlier suspensions due to concerns raised in a CAG report, marks a pivotal step forward. The government, through Deputy Minister of State Deogratius Dejembi, revealed its intention to proceed with the loan program following the review’s completion.


The forum concluded on a promising note, with Fredrick Fusi delivering closing remarks on behalf of the Country Director Sentell Barnes. A key takeaway from the event was the Tanzanian government’s commitment to coordinating resolutions and their action plans, a move that signals progress and collaboration for youth-led initiatives.


In this lead-up to Youth Month, the Tanzania Youth Forum truly exemplified the power of youth voices and their potential to drive positive change across the nation and the continent at large.