The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has counseled youths in Zambia to be creative and innovative in order to address the high levels of unemployment in the country.
YALI Executive Director Andrew Ntewewe says there is need for young people in the country to come up with activities that build entrepreneurship skills and supplement government efforts in job creation.
Mr. Ntewewe told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka yesterday, that government alone cannot create all the needed jobs and employ all the young people.
He said this is why there is need for youths to take advantage of the enabling environment that government has created in order to promote youth entrepreneurship through various programmes.
He cited the Youth Fund and the Technical, Education, Vocation and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVET) fund as some of the resources that youths should utilise, if they are to improve their living standards.
“There is no excuse for youths to fail to find something to do, government has tried to come up with programmes aimed at bettering the lives of young people throughout the country, youths can take advantage of the different funds that government is giving and put up businesses for themselves,” he said.
Mr. Ntewewe took a swipe at some youths who are engaging in criminal activities due to lack of employment.
The YALI Chief said young people are a critical component of any country’s development hence the need for them to be responsible and desist from activities that can negatively affect society.
“As people we must desist from getting in to the distractive mood, that can bring about insanity in the society but instead we should be responsible enough, we are a vital part of the country’s development,” he stated.
He disclosed that to this effect YALI is currently holding youth camps and many other empowerment programmes aimed at enhancing information dissemination on youth responsibilities and empowerment.
And Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) Chairperson David Masupa has called on churches in the country to play an active role and work with government in finding solutions to issues affecting young people.
Bishop Masupa said there is need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders in promoting and inculcating good morals among the youths in the country.
“The churches have a role to play in issues affecting young people in the communities; we must work together and find problems affecting the youths and not only be interested in imparting spiritual values but also inculcate good moral,” he said.
Bishop Masupa added that if let unresolved issues of criminal gangs and other illicit activities among the youth can impact negatively on the country’s christian values and the declaration of the country as a christian nation
Meanwhile, Ministry of Youths, Sport and Child Development (MOYSCD), Permanent Secretary Joe Kapembwa says sustainable development in the country can only be achieved through significant investment in the youth.
Mr. Kapembwa disclosed that his ministry working with other stakeholders has come up with pieces of legislation such as revising the 2006 National Youth Policy, 2015 National Youth Policy and realigning them to the Seventh National Development Plan in order to cater for the needs of the youths.
Mr. Kapembwa says in actualizing the policies, an Action Plan for empowering young people has also been developed.
The PS said this in Lusaka yesterday when he officiated at a youth symposium dubbed, “Safe Spaces for Youths.”
This was in a speech read on his behalf by Ministry of Youths, Sport and Child Development Director, Collins Mulonda.
Mr. Kapembwa assured young people in the country of accessing quality education, improved skills development programmes, as well as job creation opportunities.
And speaking at the same function, British Council, Acting Country Director Chilufya Besa said Zambian youths have got the potential of becoming future leaders only to the nation but across the globe.
Mr. Besa further pledged that the council will contribute positively to Zambia’s economy in the education sector.
He cited the Zambia Accountability Programme (ZAP) that seeks to help young people participate in governance issues in schools and communities.
The British Council works in over 100 countries empowering young people in fields such as arts and culture, education, english language and civil society.