This Week: Let’s make the 2015 National youth Policy a reality

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By Kelvin Esiasa

The month of July and August has wittnessed two prominent announcements aimed at empowering young people in Zambia.


These announcements have come at the time when Zambian young people were in need of employment.


Firstly, it was President Obama who announced to the world that he was going to set up an empowerment centre in Zambia which would be aimed at empowering young women in Zambia.


The US President said that his government was going to set up three empowerment centre one in Kenya, second in Zambia and third in Mali. He stated that the empowerment centre would strengthen women entrepreneurship in Zambia.


Obama made these remarks when he addressed the delegates at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya.


“We’re stepping it up to support women entrepreneurs.  Women are powerhouse entrepreneurs.  The research shows that when women entrepreneurs succeed, they drive economic growth and invest more back into their families and communities.  We’ve already helped build a network of more than 1,600 women entrepreneurs across Africa.  We’re launching three women’s entrepreneurial centers — one in Zambia, one opening later this year here in Nairobi and I’m proud to announce that the third center will be located in Mali” President Obama Said.


Secondly, it was President Lungu. Speaking during the launch of National Youth Policy and Action Plan in Lusaka, President Lungu said the 500,000 jobs would be created through implementation of the national apprenticeship and internship schemes which should create employment for the unskilled youth within participating companies, expansion of low interest credit facilities targeting new and growing youth led enterprises, and provision of ongoing business support services including mentorship to youth-led businesses.


The two pronouncements are among a million of promises that have been made to young people both in Zambia and beyond.


It is in this regard that I would like to echo President Lungu sentiments that directed all ministries, provinces and spending agencies and other stakeholders to provide updated reports on the number of decent and sustainable employment and empowerment opportunities created for the youths in their respected sectors.


Besides this, the Ministry of Sports and Youth should ensure that the pronouncement made by President Lungu come to reality.


For instance, the Youth Development Fund will continue to be a thorn in government as well as challenge to community development as long as government does not detach itself from the operations of the Youth Development fund.


Government should quickly find ways of how the youth development fund would be operated either creating as an agency or Bank. Or government should partner with National Saving and Credit Bank in managing the fund.


Making the youth Development fund independent would guarantee efficiency and ensure that many young people   benefit from the fund.


Secondly, there should be a clear road map on internship and apprenticeship if this has to be achieved. One way the government could achieve this is by developing an all inclusive national framework on how apprenticeship would be carried out in Zambia.


The framework would guide the employers in Zambia on how best apprenticeship would be conducted and how beneficial it would be to the employers.


Thirdly, mentorship should be a responsibility of every adult. British Business tycoon Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson states that the missing link in business today is mentorship. He also said that giving people the advice on how to run their run businesses was the most important in business.


Lastly, the creation of 500,000 jobs is a promise that every young person should be looking forward.


Therefore, government should now devise plans on how they would make this plan a reality.


One way government can make this happen is through Agriculture. Government should look at agriculture and explore areas that would assist in creating employment for young people.


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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31