The means and methods in which young Zimbabweans, as citizens, civically engage in their communities, their country and the world are moving and expanding. In cognisance of this, the needs of being an accountable, active citizen in the 21st century are more diverse, nuanced and multifaceted than in the past. The role of young people in sustaining democracy, strengthening economic competitiveness and meeting local, state, national and global challenges mandate a broader vision of Zimbabwean citizenship for the 21st century. A young Zimbabwean in the 21st century must be, up-to-date, involved and active literate in civics proficient in core academic subjects and interdisciplinary knowledge, such environmental literacy; financial, economic, business
and entrepreneurial literacy; and health literacy empowered with global competencies and 21st century skills
Digital citizenship is a required element of citizenship readiness .Similarly to the demands of school and work, civic life in Zimbabwe is continuously mounting. Young people now live, learn and work in a global social order hence the civic challenges of our day are significant and multifarious. The Youth lead active lives online mainly on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, where they can immerse themselves in vast amounts of information from around the world. Anyone in possession of a mobile device can learn, debate, educate, advocate and organize on Zimbabwean civic matters.
The issues that move young people vary immensely, from national and international efforts to ease poverty, to a village proposal to open a new borehole. Zimbabwean citizenship today must be more than appreciating the functions of government and voting in elections. The young people must derive sense out of local, national, and global events, and information, whilst acting safely, responsibly and ethically in online forums to promote a better Zimbabwe in the digital age. Digital interfaces are routine in everyday life, and young Zimbabweans as 21st century citizens are expected
to interact across the digital space.
The increased use of mobile devices is accelerating this change, enabling citizen reporting and the organizing and crowd sourcing of information, ideas and activities globally and this is key for the development of Zimbabwe.
Global citizenship is an element of citizenship readiness that requires a global skill set, including social and cross-cultural skills, proficiency in languages other than English. A universal, symbiotic and diverse world rewards young people in Zimbabwe with global skills, such as the ability to make local to- global networks, tolerate different viewpoints, and reflect critically and innovatively about international challenges, whilst collaborating in various forums. Local events in any corner of the world can ripple in a flash into international repercussions, in South Africa xenophobia which is a
local problem has gone and spread into a continental problem and this is a clear indication of the escalation of global citizenship throughout the world. Zimbabwe suffers from a civic empowerment gap that is as large and potentially destructive to our developmental endeavours as a country.
Noteworthy and composite national challenges entail much more than knowledge of civics and voting. As a means of making knowledgeable decisions and contributing to solving local, regional and global challenges, Zimbabwean young people as citizens today must to be able to tap information, distinguish the nuances of manifold points of view and converse their own positions to effect change—utilising tools that didn’t exist even a few years ago. In a vividly different environment, civic literacy is a crucial basis, but it is now insufficient for citizenship readiness in contemporary Zimbabwe. To wade through the pros and cons, practice reasoned opinions, and engage in civil dialogue and decision making in a debate the youth in Zimbabwe need to simply apply solid disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to local, regional, and national civic and political challenges there is no need for specialisation in the 21st century citizenry in Zimbabwe each and every person must have at least a layman’s knowledge in all fields and this will influence active involvement and citizen participation in policy making and decision making from village affairs to global and national affairs .
Citizenship readiness is as dynamic to our nation’s future as university and industrial skills thus it must be resolutely cultured in to the young people in Zimbabwe. The better educated the Zimbabwean young people are, the better prepared they will be to preserve the structure of government we have as a country. Acquaintance with the system of government is not passed down through the inheritable factor pool. Every generation has to learn it, and we have some work to do hence the need for Zimbabwe to create the space for young people.