President Lungu and First Lady Esther Lungu pose for a photograph with pupils during the First Lady's Mentorship Programme of the Junior achievers at State House on August 10,2015

His excellency mr. Edgar chagwa lungu president of the republic of zambia

On the occasion of the launch of the 2015 youth policy and action plan for youth empowerment and employmen


Honourable vincent mwale, mp, minister of youth and sport the secretary general of the patriotic front  honourable cabinet and deputy ministers present the secretary to the cabinet senior government officials present members of the diplomatic corps accredited to zambia the youth of zambia members of the press distinguished guests ladies and gentlemen.

Today is a momentous and historic day for my government and the youth of zambia, as i launch the 2015 youth policy and the first ever action plan for youth empowerment and employment.

The revised youth policy emphasises the need for responsive youth programming to address the transition from adolescence to youth. The policy also puts in place effective exit strategies that prepare youths to be self-reliant.

On the other hand, the youth employment and empowerment action plan provides a practical and comprehensive job creation and empowerment strategy for the youth.


Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen the youth policy and the action plan for youth empowerment and employment are consistent with the pf manifesto whose primary aim is to create more jobs and improve the quality of life, for all zambians.

It is imperative that young people who make up the majority of our population play a key role in the development of this country. I believe that no meaningful development can take place without the involvement of the youth.

It is on the strength of this fundamental truth that the youth policy and action plan provides guidance for strategically placing the youth of our great nation at the centre of socio-economic development.

In the famous words of former british prime minister, benjamin disraeli, ‘the youth of a nation are the trustees of posterity’

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me take this opportunity to remind all cabinet ministers and the entire party leadership that there is no better time to accelerate the implementation of what is outlined in the pf manifesto, than now.

The documents further provide measures for addressing both vocational and educational training needs, as well as employability and empowerment.

In this regard, the launch of the youth policy and the action plan for youth empowerment and employment will serve as a major milestone in providing the youth with new opportunities for jobs, economic and social empowerment.


This development will not only guarantee jobs for the youth but secure better quality employment and entreprenuership opportunites and income to improve living standards. Implementation of the strategy will culminate in the increase of options and opportunities for youth empowerment and employment, while also creating an enabling platform for youth innovation and entreprenuership.

This policy focus by my government is aimed at achieving a direct positive impact on poverty reduction and ensuring sustainable development and social inclusion.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

The plan i am launching today must result in the creation of more than five hundred thousand (500 000) jobs for the youth by the end of 2016, through the implementation of the following:

The national apprenticeship and internship schemes which should create employment for the unskilled youth within participating companies;

Expansion of low interest credit facilities targeting new and growing youth-led enterprises; and

Provision of ongoing business support services including mentorship to youth-led businesses.


Provision of incentives through annual awards to deserving youth-led businesses. The national awards must also recognise companies that are targeting the youth for empowerment.

I expect the ministries of finance and youth and sport to work together on the modalities of achieving this.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Youth is a cross cutting issue hence the need to mainstream their concerns and empowerment needs throughout government and non-governmental programmes and activities.

In this regard, i wish to direct all state and non state actors to immediately start mainstreaming youth empowerment programmes at all levels.

My call for youth mainstreaming at all levels is in line with my government’s decentralisation policy. I also anticipate that districts will equally mainstream youth empowerment in their development plans.

I am directing all ministries, provinces and spending agencies, as well as other stakeholders to provide updated reports on the number of decent and sustainable employment and empowerment opportunities created for the youth in their respective sectors.

Furthermore, i wish to direct all line ministries and sectors to offer preferential treatment to qualified youth-led enterprises in awarding of contracts and in the public procurement process.


To ensure that all sectors comply, let me also direct the ministry of youth and sport to be pro-active in ensuring that there is proper coordination of youth empowerment programmes across all sectors.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

As my government continues creating opportunities for youth empowerment, may i reiterate my recent call to the youth to reflect on their obligations, responsibilities and contributions towards national development.

I challenge the zambian youth to have a moment of introspection, as a precursor to all their actions, in which they should establish for themselves, whether they are part of the problem or part of the solution in the various challenges our nation faces. This creates the necessary paradigm shift for the youth to be positive change agents and to reposition themselves in an effort to contribute positively to our ambitious national social and economic development agenda.

Today’s launch of the two documents marks the end of an era of politics that promote ‘handouts’ and rhetoric that merely succeeds only at scoring short-term political mileage, at the expense of long-term, sustainable national and youth development goals.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,


The pf government is creating a number of opportunities for youth empowerment which the youth should take advantage of.

Among these are : infrastructure developments such as the link zambia 8000, pave zambia 2000, pave lusaka 400, construction of new hospitals, houses, bridges, airports, schools, power generation plants and other socio-economic infrastructures.

The youth development fund, which has been decentralised to all provinces, where youth are given affordable loans for entrepreneurship ventures.

Other empowerment funds that are currently running, inter alia citizens economic empowerment fund; the young innovators fund; women empowerment fund; and loan facilities under the development bank of zambia.

Enhanced access to education and skills development through various institutions. We are opening new universities, expanding and modernising vocational and skills centres.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

As i conclude, i wish to express my gratitude to our cooperating partners for providing technical and financial support to attain these documents. Our cooperating partners who have generously supported this process include:  the united nations educational, scientific and cultural organisations, (unesco)  international labour organisation (ilo),  the african development bank (afdb),  united nations population fund (unfpa), united nations children education fund (unicef) and the german technical cooperation (giz).

At this moment, i wish to encourage and invite more cooperating partners to come on board and support the implementation process. As you know, the success of any plan is dependent on its implementation.


My government has always recognised the value of our youth as the current and future wealth of our nation. They are the cornerstone of all our development plans, and in this vein, i wish to leave you all with food for thought of our youth, as the major component of the human capital required to unlock the wealth and potential in the transformation of our nation.

‘’young people are fitter to invent than to judge;  young people are fitter for execution of new ideas and ideals than for counsel on the status quo;  and finally, young people are more fit for new projects than for convention or ‘business as usual’’

The creative energy and bravado in our youth, has been witnessed time and time again, as they have taken the lead at critical and defining moments throughout our nation’s political and social history. This energy and ingenuity which is abundant in positively motivated youth, is an essential ingredient for the social economic transformation we all desire for our nation.


However, we must harness and focus this energy with the responsibility, wisdom and consciousness that is deserving of this important generation, which is a divine gift to our nation.

My government, through the launch of the youth policy and action plan, has taken the first and vital step in this direction. I now also call upon the youth to be proactive and play their part in the implementation of the documents.

I will end by reiterating the role of youth in our national development, with a bemba proverb: ‘ubukata, butula kunuma’. This simply means, our ultimate wealth or prosperity is sustained or indeed initiated, by the generations behind us, our youth.

It is now my singular honour and privilege to declare the 2015 national youth policy and the action plan for youth empowerment and employment officially launched and ready for implementation.

Thank you and may god bless our great nation zambia!