Government says it is taking measures to revive the economy for the benefit of all citizens. Luapula Province Minister, Derricky Chilundika, says to achieve this, government has outlined several socio-economic programmes aimed at bringing about development among Zambian people, including youths.
Mr Chilundika said this in a speech read on his behalf by Luapula Province Permanent Secretary, Mighty Mumba, during the 2023 youth day celebrations in Mansa today.
He said government has taken measures to ensure that youths are not only empowered but are also part of the solution.
He further called on youths to work extra hard and produce goods and services that will socially and economically improve their lives.
The minister has since called on youths to take advantage of various youths empowerment programmes such as the national youth scheme, the youth in transport programme, and the graduate empowerment programme which government has put in place for the youths.
“In its continued efforts to improve the livelihoods and the welfare of youths, a number of programmes have been put in place within the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts. The programmes are meant to assist the youth to access various empowerment and opportunities, among them is the national youth scheme, which is targeted at youths aged 18 and 35 years for starting income generating projects,” he said.
The Luapula Province Minister has meanwhile revealed that under the 2022 Constituency Development Fund, over 8,900 youths were given grants adding that a total of 2,151 youths received skills development bursaries, while 2,025 received secondary school boarding bursaries.
“I am happy to report that under the 2022 Constituency Development Fund, 4,742 female youths and 4,234 male youths successfully received grants, bringing the total number to 8,976 while a total of 2,151 male and female youths received skills development bursaries,” he revealed.
The minister has since called on youths and other stakeholders in development in the province to embrace positive mindset and take advantage of the good economic policies to the develop the country.
And Mansa District Commissioner, Ireen Chivweta, observed that mindset transformation is key in increasing jobs for both formal and informal sector.
“Government realises that the potential of the country’s development lies in youths, this is why it has put in place a number of programmes for the youths. However, mindset transformation is key as it will ensure that through hard work and the many empowerment programmes, youths will create jobs in the informal and formal sector,” she said.
Mrs Chivweta has however observed that youths need to be proactive if they are to make positive contribution towards the development of the country.
Earlier, Mansa Mayor, Njikho Musuku, said in a speech read for him by Chilyapa Ward Councillor, Samuel Mwansa, that the council will continue to address the needs of youths.
Mr Musuku observed that transformation can only be achieved when youths are educated.
He implored youths to take advantage of education youth funds to acquire education in various fields.
“I want to encourage you youths to do your best in any field you venture into, education is not only about masters but if you work hard you can leave a mark in any field, you can be the greatest chef, or the greatest mechanic. All you need is to be focused and work hard,” he said.
And a youth, Lavender Musonda, thanked government for many empowerment programmes that it has put in place.
Ms Musonda cited the free education as one policy that will help many youths get educated.
“As youths, we are grateful for recognising our needs through variously programmes. Programmes like the free education policy are important as they will ensure that many of us are educated. It is now up to us to ensure that we use wisely the many opportunities given to us,” she said.
Youths today celebrated their day under the theme; “Transforming minds for accelerated youth development”.