Sunday, June 16, 2024

Of CDF and its possible zero impact on society…..

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By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst

Jonas Mwango , a mining, safety and health expert is wondering why certain skills development programmes that obviously don’t guarantee absolute job opportunities or indeed unlock the gate of self-employment have taken center stage in both urban and rural areas.

“Who are the real beneficiaries of this scheme between the organisers and youths considering the number of youths trained vs job openings?” he postulates on his Facebook page. “Do we have industries that will absorb these youths after training?”

He is further hypothesizing that it would be wise to put a premium on skills that enhance self-employment as opposed to those that subject them to wild goose chase, year in and out!

Without wanting to sound like the proverbial prophet of doom, he goes on to sound alarm that we may be deliberately creating a “time bomb” that would stir up discontenment amongst the youths in the foreseeable future.

What do we make of this?

The idea of increasing CDF allocation and indeed taking skills development in its wings is of course, a brilliant initiative on the part of the New Dawn Administration! However, allowing certain officials in our constituencies to have unfettered access to such strategic resources is as good as trusting a Monkey to be in charge of a Maize field!

As Jonas has rightly observed, some school owners may be colluding with some selfish officials either in the wards or at the council to provide irrelevant skills to some desperate and yet unsuspecting youths in our communities. Why on Earth must we be equipping hundreds of youths in Shang’ombo for instance, with heavy equipment operator skills when we know there are no mines in the area?

Why is it seemingly complicated to empower our youth with vocational skills such as welding, mechanics, carpentry, brick laying, tailoring and design etc. which they can easily utilize to fabricate desks for our schools, or be contracted to build public infrastructure and indeed churn out school uniforms, with funding from the state of course?

The other day, we heard of a tailor who was contracted from Kamwala Market in Lusaka to go and teach our youths in a named province tailoring. Did he have the necessary skills to teach or instruct his students? No! Did he deliver as per expectations? Of course, not!

And not so long ago, we woke up to the shocking news of an MP that connived with Constituency Development officials, in a given province, to procure equipment at an inflated price. As if this wasn’t enough, they went ahead and doubled the price of blocks for some public infrastructure they were working on!

It is activities such as these that may result in the much touted CDF not yielding the desired results.

While this may be seem to be “non of our business” to some, it’s actually our core business to ensure that tax payers money is being put to better use! As long as we don’t equip our youth with the right tools and skills, unemployment shall remain the order of the day. And if certain individuals continue defrauding government by supplying shoddy goods and services at inflated prices, we should as well say goodbye to improving the quality of life of our people.

Until next time……

2 COMMENTS

  1. One of the problems with many people who report the news to us is that they hv little capacity to understand how long and slow incremental processes can bring about positive change. This short-termism is unhelpful and makes politics short-termist also. Which politician will care about the long-term interests of the country if the media want to pass judgment on your performance before even your term of office has ended?

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  2. Very true. Problem is that most find short term thinking easier. It’s little wonder we find ourselves as a nation where we are.

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