—–Government has bemoaned the low number of youth applying for of Youth Development Fund (YDF) in Western Province.
Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport, Chinga Miyutu, aired the concern when he paid a courtesy call on Senanga District Commissioner, Yumei Mihupulo.
Mr Miyutu said information obtained from the Youth and Sport office in Mongu indicated that very few youth have taken interest in applying for YDF.
He said YDF is one way through which government is creating employment for youths, adding that it would be very sad if youth decide to shy away from applying.
“Even in developed countries it is not easy for government to create positions or portlios for youths, but this can be done by creating business ventures for the youth through entrepreneurship,” he said.
Mr Miyutu said to underscore the importance government attaches to empowering the youth in the country, his ministry increased the allocation for YDF from KR 10 million last year to KR 19 million in this year’s budget.
He said the youth in Western Province must not feel neglected by government because government has created opportunities for them.
“The low participation by youth could be as a result that government does not care for people in this province, but government has created equal opportunities for all youth in the country,” he said.
And Mr Mihupulo asked the Ministry of Youth and Sport to decentralize the application process of YDF.
The District Commissioner said his office had presented 49 applications from youth groups to the provincial office this year, none of which has so far been funded.
Mr Mihupulo said the lack of presence at district level has made the processing of applications take very long and asked the deputy minister to consider decentralizing the process.
“This (YDF) is the only way government will assist the youth, but if the ministry can also decentralize the youth fund to districts so that the processing of applications can be expedited that can help us a lot,” he said.