MINISTRY of Youth and Sports’ empowerment funds are lying idle in Chingola as stakeholders are reported not to have expressed interest in applying for loans as a result of lack of business projects.
Acting Chingola district commissioner Philip Kalima says only 11 youths have acquired the loans since 2013.
Speaking in an interview on Thursday, Mr Kalima said it is very unfortunate that the youth in the district are not applying for the funds that have been made available by the government.
“As from 2013 to date, only 11 youths have so far benefited from the youth funds,” he said
Mr Kalima said there is need for youths to turn up and apply for the funds because Government wants to empower them.
He said youths should maximise the opportunities presented to them by the government.
“With the new government policy, the youth must ensure they benefit from the empowerment funds,” he said.
He also said the young should ensure that they access the funds to invest in their business programmes.
He said stakeholders should also acquire knowledge on business ideas that would enable them generate more finances after they have accessed the funds.
The district commissioner added that not every youth can be in formal employment, hence the reason to apply for such funds.
Meanwhile, Mr Kalima said Zambia’s young generation is capable of contributing towards the economic development of the country.
He has since challenged the youth to be the pilots of economic growth of the country.
Mr Kalima has advised the youth to ensure that they associate themselves with groups that can empower them on self-sustainable projects as opposed to getting engaged in vices.
Chingola is one of the districts on the Copperbelt characterised by youth gangs that in engage in dangerous activities and illegal mining commonly known as the chondos and jerabos.