UNITED PARTY FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT President Hakainde Hichilema has said that the plight of youths in the country needs urgent redress or risk having a generation of delinquents without the potential to manage the country’s economic fortunes.
Mr Hichilema further said that the UPND government will strive to ensure that the cost of doing business in the country is lowered to allow more youths access to opportunities that will spur economic growth using local resources.
Speaking during the signing of a youth empowerment social contract with youths at the party secretariat this morning, the UPND leader assured the youths of a conducive business environment thay will be anchored on local investment unlike the current environment which is managed by foreign elements.
He told the cheering crowd that the UPND government will ensure that youths take an active role in economic sectors such as mining, tourism,agriculture and manufacturing through mining licences as well as rights,adding that no country has grown without the involvement of its youths in development.
The signed social contract outlines the youth’s demands for mining rights and licences as a way of empowerment in order for them to meet their survival prospects and contribute to national development.
The social contract which is the brain child of the UPND youths on the Copperbelt seeks to provide for the establishment of a professionally managed limited company with shareholders drawn from all the ten districts of the province with economic dividends expected to trickle down to constituencies for the benefit of citizens.
” I have asked the youths from the Copperbelt to not limit this document to mining rights alone. Include youths that are in different sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fish farming, timber trading,milling and other economic driving sectors.Our government will strive at ensuring that the cost of raw materials such as fertiliser is reduced from the current K 600 to K 250 to allow more youths participate in the agriculture sector and in the process reduce on the cost of living.Let me also assure Zambians through you that our government will ensure that all expatriates intend doing to invest in the country do so in partnership with locally based Zambians.This document should also include people living with disabilities as partners in national development through engagementand consensus”,he said.
And UPND Copperbelt Provincial youth Chairman Ronald Manenga said the social contract was born out of the realisation that the UPND manifesto provides for youth empowerment through mining rights and licences to the youths.
Mr Manenga outlined some of the anticipated empowerment programs under the social contract as the 80,000 poultry project in Chimwemwe Constituency as well as a highly mechanised farm in Lufwanyama district whose produce will target ready markets such as the DRC and Angola for export.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Lusaka Provincial Chairman Obvious Mwaliteta and his Copperbelt Counterpart Elisha Matambo as well as several district youth chairpersons drawn from both provinces.
Others are deputy Secretary Generals Patrick Mucheleka and Gertrude Imenda.