Africa has a youthful population made up of enthusiastic and energetic young people who are sufficient and supportive (ILO, 2012). There are policies and programmes in place that could drive the social and economic prosperity of the continent. Regardless of many decades and long efforts that have been put in place, employment is still an issue and a challenge in Africa. Many researchers have proven that productive employment and decent work for young people cannot be achieved through fragmented and isolated interventions hence; there must be sustained, determined, and concerted action by a wide range of actors. Thus, the consensus is that youth productivity is a cross cutting and high priority issue that needs to be addressed within the framework of an interdisciplinary, multi- sectoral, and multi-stakeholder approach. In Zimbabwe youths constitute a large percentage of the population and they are most marginalized group of people when it comes to resource allocation (UNESCO, 2004). The well being of the youths have been affected by lack of resources, capabilities and assets to improve their livelihoods. Nevertheless, the government of Zimbabwe has made numerous efforts to improve the livelihoods of the youths. Hence, the Zimbabwean government made an effort creating the Ministry of Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment. Hereafter, MYIIE has the mandate of empowering youth economically, socially and politically. In order to address the challenges faced by youths, the indigenization policy was formulated to reduce unemployment; to promote a culture of entrepreneurship; improve resource allocation and improve the livelihoods of young people. Therefore, the mandate of the Ministry of Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment is to implement and review policies relating to youths empowerment in agreement with the national indigenization and economic empowerment. Alongside the soot, NGOs have taken the mandate in order to capacitate the youths with skills and knowledge to help the Ministry so as to empower the youths. Given this background, the study seeks to address NGOs capacity building in youths in Matobo district as means to empower themselves economically, socially and politically.
The study focuses on the importance of NGO’s capacity building as an empowerment strategy for youths in Matobo District a case of Gulathi, ward 15. UNDP’s Youth Strategy (2014-2017) recognizes the involvement of young men and women in participatory decision making and development processes as vital to achieving sustainable human development. The strategy goes hand in glove with the capacity development of young people, youth led organizations, the development of youth assembles in government, parliament and other bodies as well as promoting inclusive youth participation in effective and democratic governance; economic empowerment of youth; strengthened youth engagement in building resilience in their communities; inclusion of youth in the future development agenda, including thorough consultations and discussions. Capacity building has typically been defined as the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instinct, abilities, process and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt and thrive in the fast changing world.
UNESCO (2004) adopts the definition of “youth” in the African Youth Charter where “youth” means “every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years”. Today, more than ever, young women and men are change-makers, building new realities for themselves and their communities. All over the world, youths are driving social change and innovation, claiming respect for their fundamental human rights and freedoms, and seeking new opportunities to learn and work together for a better future. Therefore, Ullerberg (2009) posits that NGOs have traditionally taken on the role of gap filling that is, taking on activities of capacity building providing where the government lacks the capacity to do so or does not consider it a priority.
More so, NGOs work to build up local organizations so that they can do more to support local people themselves. For instance, it might include helping small community groups who come together and provide support to their members or helping national NGOs or government institutions work better and grow. When it works well, capacity building can help local organizations deliver relevant services on a sustainable basis to local people including lobbying and assisting empowerment. Despite all these NGO activity, capacity building brings its own challenges. In particular, it is hard for outsiders to understand local organizations’ operating context both internal and external. It is also hard to be sure who is driving the ‘capacity building’ process for the NGO providing the assistance, or the organization receiving it. When the NGO that is providing assistance is driving the process or capacity building support not relevant, then any organization which is built up may not keep going on its own.
Developing community capacity and maximizing limited resources in rural areas are essential. Youth development and community development are interdependent. Building capacity for youth development programs in rural areas can provide a way for youth to engage in larger community development processes, thus growing and developing while benefiting the community as a whole. Youth in rural areas have fewer opportunities for development. For example, rural students are reportedly less aisled with their communities than urban students. Rural youth may also be more susceptible to boredom, which could lead to increased risk of delinquent behaviors (Ullerberg, 2009). In addition, rural youth face more stereotypes than urban youth and may have lower aspirations for education and careers. Unfortunately, many rural youth leave their home areas and do not return a factor that is troubling for long-term community development. Rural youth also have less access to youth development programs, less variety of programs to choose from, and less access to transportation than urban youth. Youth in rural areas often have less access to technological assets than urban youth. This lack can affect occupational opportunities, educational growth, and skill development of rural young people. To overcome some of these disparities, investing in capacity building in these communities is necessary. Therefore, the study is going to be conducted at Gulathi, Matobo District in ward 15 in Matabeleland South Province.