Today in Zambia it is National Youth Day. In light of this, Restless Development Zambia highlighted the importance of youth entrepreneurship in the country. The following Press Release was printed today in leading commercial newspaper The Post.
Zambian Youth entrepreneurs have urged the government to prioritize skills development nation-wide if funds released for youth empowerment are to have sustainable impact. Speaking during a youth development forum convened by Restless Development and Junior Chambers International (JCI) at New Government Complex today, the participants expressed concern that the focus for youth development before they can access funds should be skills capacity building to ensure that they are adequately prepared to invest and manage the funds in sustainable enterprises.
Speaking during the deliberations one of youth entrepreneurs, Mercy Nkhata expressed distress at how the Zambian market has a negative attitude towards local products and services. “I would like the government to help sensitise the Zambian market to support local quality products and services especially from the youth.” She said.
And Chief Youth Development Officer for the Ministry of Youth and Sports Mr. Muma Kennedy Mukupa has indicated that the ministry in currently working on a plan to formalise the National Youth Parliament. He said “This will help ensure that deliberations from the youth are taken on seriously by the government and acted upon.”
Meanwhile, Restless Development Programme Coordinator, Benjamin Mwape has recommended that government should implement a voluntary national service programme which should focus on skills development programmes such as financial education and entrepreneurship.
“We have several youth development volunteer programme models which have been successfully implemented in Zambia. So government needs to build on that evidence and scale up such strategies at a national scale through the national service programmes.”
He further thanked the Ministry of Youth and Sport for providing a land mark opportunity for the youth to be able to engage in progressive dialogue with key government personnel.
The youth forum event was organised to provide an opportunity for the youth to have a dialogue platform with government on youth development priorities. It was attended by over 100 youth from all the provinces of Zambia as part of the 2013 youth week activities.
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