—President Michael Sata says his administration is committed to creating employment and enterprises development opportunities for all Zambian youths.
President Sata urged all Zambian youths to take advantage of the many entrepreneurial opportunities available for them so that they contribute to national development through enterprise development.
In a speech read on his behalf by Vice President Guy Scot, today in Lusaka during the youth day celebration, President Sata said government will continue developing policies and programs that are aimed at promoting youth participation in socio-economic development of the country.
He noted that this year’s theme “opportunity for the youth through enterprise” is most appropriate and timely as it calls for the promotion of entrepreneurship and enterprise development among youths for wealth and employment creation in the country.
The Republican President observed that the Youth Day is an occasion that provides an opportunity to the young people to reflect on their obligations to the country and their contribution to socio-economic development of the country.
He said today’s youth day celebration theme is in line with the Patriotic Front governments manifesto which advocates for employment creation and entrepreneurship development as a viable career option.
He noted that since coming into power the PF government has made tremendous strides and progress in youth development by putting in place a transparent disbursement mechanise of funds allocated to the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
President Sata pointed out that government has since engaged in various projects of building more universities and skills training centres for youths across the country.
He said government is making optimal investment in infrastructure development through the rehabilitation and construction of youth resource centres aimed at imparting appropriate and practical skills for the youths who are out of school and those who have not been to school.
He said government will not only end at providing skills but go beyond by providing business incubation to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurship skills among youths through an array of business support resources and services that will link entrepreneurs to the market.
The President said he was happy to inform the nation that the KR11.8 million provided in the 2012 national budget for youth development was by December 31 last year disbursed to 470 youth enterprises countrywide.
He added that in an effort to ensure that more youths benefit, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission has resumed funding of projects of which 40% of the total financing has been reserved for the Zambian youths.
He further said government is in a process of formulating a frame work for industrialisation and job creation aimed at transforming the economy with a focus on high employment potential sectors such as agriculture, tourism, construction and manufacturing.
Among the youths that took part in the commemoration of the youth day today were youths from the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) led by their leader Edith Nawakwi, Movement for Multi party Democracy (MMD), and New Revolution Party (NGP) with their leader Cosmo Mumba.
Others where youths from Christian Churches, Islamic, Muslims, Secondary schools, Universities both private and government run, colleges and other cooperate stakeholders across the country.