Government says the Youth Development Fund is a viable and sustainable economic empowerment vehicle that has facilitated the creation of over 3,000 jobs for youths in the country.
Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Christopher Mulenga said since inception in 2012,the fund has stimulated the creation of thousands of jobs for youths by fellow youths.
He said government has put in place measures to accelerate the creation of decent jobs through an enabling business environment and consolidating employment opportunities and income generation.
The deputy minister said government has in the last three years disbursed over K50 million to over 1,000 youth enterprises and organizations culminating in the creation of over 3,000 job opportunities for youths across the country.
Mr Mulenga said this in Mansa today when he disbursed over K1.5 million of the 2014 Youth Development Funds to 55 youth groups in Luapula province.
He said the creation of the job opportunities was an indication that the Youth Development Fund is sustainable and achieving its intended goal of empowering youths irrespective of political affiliation.
Mr Mulenga said government will remain resolute in prioritizing the creation of empowerment and employment opportunities for youths as they are the bedrock and hallmark for national development and prosperity programmes in order to address the high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment.
He noted that the country has over 4 million unemployed youths who need to be helped with financial resources and skills to address the high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment in order to improve their welfare.
Mr Mulenga was also in Muchinga and Northern Provinces over the weekend where he disbursed youth development funds amounting to over K1.5 million to over 50 youth groups to engage in viable business ventures.
The deputy minister challenged the youths to ensure that they pay back the money so that other youths can also benefit from the funds.
Mr Mulenga urged the provincial administration to ensure that it reaches out to youths in remote areas so that they also benefit.
And Luapula province minister Benson Kapaya thanked government for introducing the Youth Development Fund as it had enabled youths in the province to embark on economic ventures to improve their livelihood.
In a speech read on his behalf by acting Permanent Secretary Joyce Nsamba, Brigadier General Kapaya pointed out that the demand for the loans was overwhelming because youths want to get out of poverty and create wealth.
And in a vote of thanks, Victor Zimba, a beneficiary of the youth fund assured government that they will put the money to good use the funds to grow and sustain their businesses.