UPND President Hakainde Hichilema says employment through government alone is not sustainable hence the need to support local businesses so as to increase employment opportunities for the youths in the country.
Mr Hichilema said encouraging the development of local businesses by reducing on the number of permits required to open up businesses will not only increase employment opportunities bit would also reduce on government wage bill.
Mr Hichilema also emphasised the need for value-additon on raw materials produced in the country such as agro products among others.
“Employing only through Government is not sustainable. It just increases the wage bill further without growing the national cake. That is why our approach will be to support local business by reducing the number of processes and permits required for key activities and opening up access to finance because current interest rates are far too high.
“Value-addition efforts are going to be central to our plan for job creation. Why import cereal when we produce maize? Why import tomato paste when we grow tomatoes? Why import canned fish when we farm fish at home? Can we not make these things in Zambia and then create jobs for our people in the process, as well as keeping prices lower? To make this happen requires vision, a business friendly Government and hard work. The UPND believes it offers this combination,” he said.
He added “In terms of youth empowerment we are proposing vocational training schemes to equip young Zambians with practical skills, as well as on-the-job training schemes and programmes in business management for start-ups.”
The opposition leader said this in a campaign message shared on his Facebook page.