—Minister of Youth and Sport Chishimba Kambwili has paid tribute to youths in Zambia for taking part in this year’s youth day celebrations.
Mr Kambwili paid tribute to youths around the country for not heeding to directives from some disgruntled political parties not to take part in the celebrations.
Speaking when he addressed youths from all walks of life who gathered in Lusaka at the Freedom statue today to celebrate this year’s youth day which came under a theme “Opportunity for youth through enterprise,” Mr. Kambwili said the theme appealed to stakeholders to take up the opportunity that create enterprise development among the youth.
Mr. Kambwili said this year’s theme is a call for all Zambian youths to become innovate and alert so that they can be able to seize opportunities created by the government and other stakeholders in making entrepreneurship a viable career option.
The Youth and Sport Minister said in an a effort to ensure that funds reach the intended persons, his Ministry has strengthened management of the Youth Development Fund by putting in place a disbursement mechanism that provides a more transparent manner of fund distribution to the provinces.
He said his Ministry has also embarked on restructuring of the Ministry of Youth and Sport to ensure that it establishes offices in all districts.
Mr. Kambwili said following the Presidential directive last year his office has been working with other stakeholders as well as co-operating partners in coming up with a strategic plan on youth empowerment.
He stated that his Ministry will soon be coming up with a draft of the strategic plan which will be subjected to stakeholders’ consultation to allow all players make an input to the document.
He said it is governments desire to ensure that it establishes at least one youth vocational skills training centre in every district as per advocate in the PF manifesto.
Meanwhile Patriotic Front Information and Publicity Secretary for Lusaka Youths Stanley Chiumia said it is unfortunate that at a time when youths need to interact and share their ideas they are being stopped from doing some by some political parties.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS today Mr. Chiumia thanked other political parties like the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), United National Independence Party (UNIP) and the New Revolution Party who took part in the youth day celebrations.
Mr. Chiumia said people should always remember that development is not a thing that can happen overnight but that it is a gradual process that calls for proper planning.
He said Zambian youths should be happy to note the several strides the PF has made so far in encouraging entrepreneurship.
He said this year’s theme “Opportunity for youth through enterprise” has come at a right time when government has clearly demonstrated its commitment to job creation as can be seen in the number of youths across the country that have benefited and are doing businesses through the youth empowerment funds provided under the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
Mr. Chiumia further thanked the government for increasing the budget allocation for youth and sport in the 2013 national budget.