President Edgar Lungu says government is fully committed to partnering with youths in the country in order to foster national development.
Speaking during the commemoration of Youth day celebration that carried the theme: enhancing nation development through sustainable youth partnerships in Lusaka, President Lungu indicated he is aware of the critical role the youths play in the development process of the country.
The Head of State said it is for this reason government has put in place policies that provide guidance on the development and engagement of the youths.
The President mentioned the seventh national development plan, the national youth policy, industrialisation and job creation strategy and the action plan for youth empowerment and employment as among the policies being implemented by his administration.
He stated that government will continue to support the youth in various sectors in order to prevent them from engaging in vices that oftentimes end up destroying their future.
“As enshrined in the theme for the seventh national development plan, which reads: accelerating development efforts towards vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind, we can only enhance national development through partnerships with the youth. Furthermore, the only way the youth partnerships can be sustainable is when the youth are empowered,” President Lungu indicated.
He added that the policies are focused on uplifting the living standards of many youths, as they advocate for a coherent, multi-sectoral and mainstreamed approach to youth empowerment and employment creation.
The Head of State further implored both the public and private players to also focus on youth participation and enhance efforts towards mainstreaming youths in all their programmes.
President Lungu noted that it is only through mainstreaming that optimal opportunities for the youths can be created.
He urged youths across the country to rise to the occasion and participate in all matters that affect their well-being and the country’s development at large.
He reiterated the Patriotic Front’s manifesto which advocates for youths to play a leading role in the development of the country, hence government continues to prioritise youth development.
The Head of State indicated that progress has been made in youth development through a number of empowerment programmes under the transport empowerment, milling plants micro small and medium enterprises, agriculture, education and skills development, internship and apprenticeship.
“We have continued creating a better Zambia for all by providing inspirational and visionary leadership to the nation and promoting inclusive governance,” he noted.
And Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development Emmanuel Mulenga stated that this year’s theme is key to the development of the nation.
Mr. Mulenga explained that even when the country is battling with the global pandemic’ the COVID-19 the theme indicates the importance of partnering with the youth in national development.
“Government under the leadership of President Lungu remains committed in ensuring that young people are given the support they need to thrive and develop into responsible citizens,” Mr. Mulenga stated.
He noted that the recognition of this has led to the development of policies and programmes which focus on the development of young people and their active participation in various activities.
The Minister added that the youths are one of the most valuable assets to the nation hence government through his ministry has provided youths with loans with no collateral and flexible payment plans.
A youth Representative Hector Mulinda expressed gratitude that government has shown commitment to ensure every youth in the country is empowered.
Mr. Mulinda said the empowerment programme will go a long way and assured President Lungu that all beneficiaries will reciprocate the gesture by transforming the lives of other youths.
“Our deep gratitude goes out to you President Lungu for your fatherly heart extended to us youths in Zambia with excellent facilities that you have put at our disposal,” he stated.
He recalled the hardships that faced in order to acquire government contracts, but that the story has changed under President Lungu’s leadership.
During the youth day celebration, president Lungu empowered some youth cooperatives with Tankers, Rosa buses and harmer mills to not only create employment but enhance the developmental agenda in the country.