Friday, June 14, 2024

Over 1,400 Mufulira youths get CDF sponsorship-Matambo

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Copperbelt Province Minister, Elisha Matambo has disclosed that government is sponsoring 1,457 youths in Mufulira District in skills training at a cost of K2.2 Million under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Mr. Matambo who officiated at the handover ceremony for the scholarships, says the development is a milestone as the over 1400 youths have been removed from the streets and placed in tertiary institutions.

“This K2, 219,239.75 is just for a quarter, which means government will spend K8,876,959 in a year on skills training of youths in Mufulira,” he explained.

Mr. Matambo said Mufulira had an overwhelming response of applications for skills training with over 4,500 youths applying out of which 1,457 youths were selected and placed in four training institutions.

He disclosed that 653 youths are from Mufulira Constituency, 545 from Kankoyo and 259 from Kantanshi respectively.

Mr. Matambo said in addition, government has sponsored 35 pupils in Mufulira under the secondary school bursary programme.

“14 are from Mufulira Central, 11 from Kankoyo, and 10 from Kantanshi Constituency,” he said.

The Minister urged the youths to put the opportunity given to them to good use and acquire skills that will help them earn a living.

Mr. Matambo said President Hakainde Hichilema is in a hurry to fulfill his promises hence he ensured the CDF was released on time but is not happy with the slow pace at which the money is being utilized.

“Last week I summoned all the councils on the Copperbelt Province together with the Mayors and the District Commissioners, to ask them why the CDF money was not being utilized despite it having been released long ago. It doesn’t make sense that the money is just sitting in the bank but, so I wanted to know what challenges were stopping them from spending the money on the intended beneficiaries,” he said.

Mr. Matambo noted that he was impressed that among the districts on the Copperbelt, Mufulira was moving faster in the utilization of the funds.

Meanwhile, Kantanshi Member of Parliament, Anthony Mumba urged the youths to work in a coordinated manner by forming cooperatives to enable them be self-employed after acquiring various skills.

Mr. Mumba said there is need to ensure that the people who access CDF grants are people who are really poor not people who already have sustainable businesses.

“Those who already have businesses should not get the loans, the grants should be reserved for the poorest, like those women who sale chikanda,” he said.

 Mufulira Mayor, Tanaeli Kamanga said the skills training programme has the potential to not only change the lives of individuals but change the entire country at large.

“Zambia has a high potential for growth due to its vast natural and human resource,” Mr.Kamanga said.

He added that investing in skills training will help eradicate poverty in the country.

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