–Southern youths shun empowerment fund

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Southern youths shun empowerment fund

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Livingstone, March, 19, 2013 , ZANIS….The Ministry of youth and Sports in

Livingstone has expressed worry over the slow response by youths to

access the youth empowerment funds to enable them engage

in gainful enterprises.

 

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS today , Southern Province Youth

Coordinator Vincent Sitali said it was worrying that so far only

25 applications have been received from Livingstone district despite

the massive sensitisation programme carried out by the department.

 

Mr. Sitali said seven applications received were for grants while 18

were for loans under the youth fund.

 

He said although some applications have not yet been received from the

Other districts, there were indications that the response from the youths

has not been impressive.

 

“As a department we worried at the rather poor response from youths to

apply for these funds and we hope that with the help of some districts

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volunteer committees that we formed to continue sensitisations we hope

to see an increase in the number of application forms submitted,” said

Mr. Sitali.

 

“In my own opinion I would be happy if we can have least 150

applications approved for the entire province”.

 

He said the department had planned to conduct the first evaluation

exercise of the application forms on 20 February to facilitate

release of funds to approved projects this month but could not do so

because of the poor response.

 

“We were supposed to have the first evaluation of the forms on 20th

February but we are still waiting to have at least 30 forms to begin

the evaluation process”, said Mr. Sitali.

 

Government this year allocated K1.3 Billion (KR1.3 Million) under the

youths empowerment fund for southern province for youths to engage in

projects including tourism, agro processing, primary agriculture, arts

among many others.

 

He further explained that the department would like to utilize all the

money allocated unlike last year when the province only used about

K500 Million to approved youths projects out of the total allocation

of K1.1 Billion.

 

He encouraged the youths to apply for the funds to enable them

benefit from the United Nations World Tourism Oranisation General

Assembly (UNWTO) to be co-hosted between Zambia and Zimbabwe in August this year.

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