—-The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) president, Andrew Ntewewe, says his organisation has welcomed PLAN International – Zambia and Barclays Bank -Zambia’s programme to train more than 20, 000 youths in financial access and enterprise skills.
Barclays Bank Zambia plc has partnered with Plan International Zambia to implement phase two (2) of the Banking on Change (BoC) programme in Central, Eastern and Luapula Provinces at a cost of KR7.1 million from 2013 to 2015.
Meanwhile, YALI has called on government to create an enabling environment for the business sector in the country to allow them plough back their profits in the communities.
YALI president, Andrew Ntewewe, said the move by Plan International and Barclays Bank to train youths is commendable and should be supported by all well-meaning Zambians.
In an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today Mr Ntewewe said many Zambian youths were unemployed and will, therefore, benefit from the opportunity created by the two organisations.
Mr Ntewewe further said this will also protect youths from greedy politicians who sponsor them to conduct acts of violence against rivals.
“You see, once they are employed, youths will not be tricked by these greedy politicians who are taking advantage of them. Youths are on the loose when they do not have jobs and politicians exploit that.
“It is high unemployment levels which lead to militia or what happened at BIGOCA last week. There is need to address unemployment as a way to avoid what happened at BIGOCA where young people were sponsored to go and beat up people,” he said.
Last Friday, members of the civil society consortium were assaulted by suspected cadres while attending Black Friday prayers at the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) in Lusaka.
Meanwhile, the YALI president has called on government to create a favourable business environment in the country to allow corporations invest their resources to benefit the communities they operate in.
Mr Ntewewe said government must embrace initiatives like the one by Barclays and Plan International because such programmes complement government’s efforts in improving the welfare of youths in the country.
The YALI leader advised that government cooperates with the private sector to create opportunities for youths to allow them play a meaningful role in decision making.
Phase one (1) of the Banking on Change programme was established in Chibombo and Mazabuka districts based on a village savings and loan association model known as Own Savings for Asset and Wealth Creation (OSAWE).
Phase two (2), the BoC will train about 21, 800 youths in financial education.