Youth and Sport Minister, Chishimba Kambwili, says the large population of young people worldwide can contribute meaningfully to productivity through human capital development and adequate skills if well harnessed.
Mr Kambwili, however, noted that growth of this kind could only be attained through investment in skills and education, providing opportunities for gainful employment and platforms that engage both civic and political participation of young people.
“Government, through my ministry, has its doors open to initiatives aimed at empowering young people in making them responsible citizens,” he said.
Mr Kambwili said this
today in his closing remarks at the Regional Conference on Promoting Regional Collaboration for Youth Empowerment at Chrismar Hotel in Livingstone.
He said government considered young people as assets and opportunities and would strive to fully integrate them in the process of national development as envisaged in the 2011 Patriotic Front Manifesto.
Mr Kambwili said government, with support from cooperating partners, was developing the Youth Employment and Empowerment Strategy to provide a framework for informed and effective support system and programs that promote productive and job rich growth for the Zambian youth.
“This process will promote a process of migrating from scattered micro interactions to coherently mainstream sectoral and local economic development approach that contributes to creating employment for the youth,” he said.
Earlier, a youth representative called on African Heads of State and government to set up and support the establishment of One Stop Youth Centres as hubs of Youth Development and Empowerment.
YALDA-USIU Executive Director, Wanjeri Ndegwa, also reiterated the need to strengthen the legislative framework for the functional National Youth Councils with clear mandates and roles which include coordination of youth groups and organizations.
“We also want member states’ meaningful involvement of young people in the budgetary system of the country and management of funds allocated to youth,” she said.
The conference drew participants from Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.