Director of World Assembly of Muslim Youth, Sheikh Saleem Banda has commended government for creating an enabling environment for the youth to thrive and participate in different national development activities.
Banda said the country’s leadership had demonstrated that it had the welfare of people at heart, particularly the youth by developing various strategies to empower them with entrepreneurial and economic empowerment skills, among others.
“By getting global recognition for the role in youth development activities, the leadership in Malawi truly attests to the fact that it holds the youth at the centre of its development agenda,” he said.
Banda, based in Durban, South Africa was speaking on Saturday as a guest at this year’s national Ijitima in Mangochi. The theme for the Ijitima was: Islam and development.
He pointed out that Islam advocated for three levels of development at individual, community and national levels, noting that at intra level, it emphasized on a person maximizing and reaching their full potential.
He said an individual being the smallest component of a nation should always strive to acquire knowledge with which to discover how to pray by, among other things, going to Haji (visit to Mecca) and paying Zakaat.
“Development at community level consists of individuals and families whereby through the family unit communities engage in organizational projects like construction of mosques, schools and health facilities,” Banda said.
“Therefore, it takes an individual who is developed to turn back to the society and see what they could contribute to improve the welfare of others at that level,” he said.
Banda appealed to people in the country to devise ways of sustaining most of the development projects being initiated at various levels of society in line with the global sustainable development goals.
“Over and above everything, communities need to have sustainability plans of their efforts to ensure excellence and productivity,” he said.
He said Malawi was rich and blessed because it had a leadership that was committed to its citizens and hard working for the sake of all Malawians. Banda said Ijitima was meant to create a platform for praise and worship to the creator for the abundant blessings received in the year just ending.
He also hailed the country’s leadership for introducing two new public universities in Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), noting that the two would increase access to tertiary education.
“The introduction of LUANAR and MUST is a milestone in efforts of developing institutions of higher learning,” he said. “Intellectual development is critical even in Islam which places emphasis on service to human kind. We all need to serve others selflessly just like we’re serving Allah.”
Chairperson of the organizing committee for the Ijitima, Muhammad Uthman said the presence of President Peter Mutharika at the event signified his love for all people in the country without regard to religious affiliation. Uthman asked people in the country to peacefully coexist and live in harmony for the benefit of all people in the country.
He commended government for its commitment to the unity of people in the country. He assured that the Muslim community would continue to work with government for the country’s prosperity.