Govt. empowers youths groups in Chipata
Chipata, July 1,2014, ZANIS — Youth and Sports minister Chishimba Kambwili has handed over cheques worth K2.4 million Kwacha to 73 youth project under the Youth Development Fund (YDF) in Chipata in Eastern province.
Mr Kambwili says that 33 applicants for 2013 have received loans and grants amounting to K1.1 million while 40 applicants were for 2014 who received funds and grants totalling K1.3 million.
He disclosed this when he handed over the cheques to the beneficiaries at a ceremony held at Chrystal Springs in Chipata , today.
Mr Kambwili stated that the funds were for both 2013 and 2014 because Eastern and Central provinces did not receive the because they delayed in submitting the paper work to the National YDF Technical Committee.
The Minister has since directed the Provincial and District administration offices to ensure that they speed up the submission of applicants next year, to ensure an even equitable distribution of the YDF among all the districts and constituencies in the province.
Mr Kambwili said he does not want a situation where some districts have a bigger potion of the funds but that it should be evenly distributed regardless of the status of the district disclosing saying that those that have benefitted were from Peatauke, Nyimba, Lundazi, Mambwe, Vubwi, Sinda, Chadiza and Katete
He sated that the critics who were claiming that the monies were given to Patriotic Front cadres were not truthful going by the acceptance of the youth who have benefitted to openly state that they belonged to different political parties.
Mr kambwili however, urged the beneficiaries to pay back the loans as it was a revolving fund targeting to improve living conditions for youths in the country regardless of political affiliation failure to which they will be sent to jail.
“We have made payments simple by opening a YDF collection account with finance bank and Zambia Postal Servces (ZAMPOST) post offices who have started receiving the money on behalf of the Ministry,” he added.
And speaking at the same function, Eastern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Zacharia Luhanga said Eastern province has a population of 1,592.661 according to the 2010 Central Statistics Office, where 527,579 are young people aged between 15 and 34 with about 85 percent living in rural areas.
Mr Luhanga said the statistics shows that youths constitute 33.1 percent of the total population in Eastern provinces such that if adequately empowered they form a strong cadre of energetic formidable human resource with the potential to contribute effectively towards regional economic development.
He said the province is an agro base which produce maize, tobacco, cotton, grounduts, soya beans and sunflower and youths are funded can utilise it as a means of enhancing their livelihood
Mr Luhanga further said in the 2012, eighteen youth’s groups benefitted form the YDF which translates to 53 jobs that were created among the youths.
However, he expressed sadness that most youths that benefitted in the past failed to pay back the loans but stated that the provincial administration and Youth department are working on measures to ensure the youths paid back the loans
And a youth reprehensive Robbie Chanda thanked government for empowerment the youths through YDF.
He said 65 percent of the country’s population which consist of youths who also were the most hit in terms of employment levels.
Robbie however, expressed happiness that the challenges are being addressed through the YDF a move that he said will go a long way to uplift the standard of living for youths and the country at large as it will provide employment for young people and improve economic levels of youths in the country.
He has since praised the Provincial and National Technical Committees for the professionalism shown throughout the process of analysing and scrutinising the application forms.
Robbie has since urged the young entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the funds to ensure that the money is used for the intended purpose as it is a revolving fund because failure to pay back is going to impact negatively to the future generation.