NATIONAL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is a South African-based agency established primarily to tackle challenges that the nation’s youth are faced with. The NYDA was established by an Act of parliament, Act no 54 of 2008.
The agency derives its mandate from legislative frameworks such as the NYDA Act (54 of 2008), the National Youth Policy (2009-2014) and the draft Integrated Youth Development Strategy as adopted by the Youth Convention of 2006.
The institution was established to be a single, unitary structure, established to address youth development issues at National, Provincial and Local government level. The existence of the NYDA should be located within the broad context of South Africa’s development dynamics. Like many developing countries, South Africa has a large population of youth, those between the ages 14-35 represent 42% of the total population.
Given the youthful nature of the South African population, much of the socio-economic challenges faced by the nation, including poverty, inequality and joblessness, poor health are largely encountered by the youth. The gravity of challenges South Africa is faced with, require multi-pronged efforts that simultaneously promote the development of sustainable livelihoods, reduce poverty, inequality and prioritise the development of policies which create an enabling environment for youth development.
The NYDA plays a leading role in ensuring that all major stakeholders such as the government, private sector and civil society, prioritise youth development and contribute towards identifying and implementing long-lasting solutions that address youth development challenges. Furthermore, the NYDA designs and implements programmes that are aimed at improving the lives of young people, as well as avail opportunities to youth. These programmes could be clustered as follows:
Individual (Micro) level: The NYDA provides direct services to youth in the form of information provision, career guidance services, mentorship, skills development and training, entrepreneurial development and support, health awareness programmes and involvement in sport.
Community (Meso) level: The NYDA encourages young people to be catalysts for change in their communities through involvement in community development activities, social cohesion initiatives, National Youth Service programmes and social dialogues.
Provincial and National (Macro) level: Through its policy development, partnerships and research programmes, the NYDA facilitates the participation of youth in developing key policy inputs, which shape the socio-economic landscape of South Africa.