IT IS heartening that 500,000 jobs will be created for the youths as envisioned in the Youth Policy and the Nation Action Plan launched yesterday by President Edgar Lungu.
In a country where most of the youths remain unemployed because of low employment opportunities, news of the creation of job opportunities is certainly welcome.
This is because the lack of jobs is not the only challenge that face the Zambian youth but also Government’s limited financial resource envelope to offer as loans to emerging small scale business.
While Government has set up various empowerment programmes, their ability to ensure all youths are catered for is so limited.
It is for this reason that President Lungu’s announcement that jobs will be created, places him in the spot of the youths who are desperate for employment.
President Lungu has given his Government up to the end of 2016 to create half a million jobs and the year is not far away.
Realistically and if the Constitution amendment bill is approved and Presidential elections are held in August, then it is safe to say that President Lungu has only 12 months in which to win over the youths because his vision would be nearing fruition at that time.
If there will be no jobs by August next year as promised by the Head of State, we all know that the consequences would be so devastating on the part of the ruling party.
It is therefore important for ministries, provinces and other spending agencies to harmonise their work schedules to ensure that the Presidential vision is achieved.
While President Lungu has made the policy statement, it should be noted that he is not an operative as he has ministers and permanent secretary to actualise his vision.
Those that cannot work according to the vision of actualising the Youth Policy and its action plan should be substituted to allow for a team that can coordinate programmes.
It should be understood that creating 500,000 jobs is not a small matter as a lot of planning is required to sustain the labour force when engaged.
As we welcome Government’s vision of creating half a million jobs, it should be the pre-occupation of officials tasked with various programme to ensure that activities are achieved in line with the national action plan.
It would be a disservice to the nation and the youths in particular, if the officials given responsibility to create jobs will be procrastinating on their various assignments.
As we have said, while it is heartening that the President has announced his vision to create 500,000, the real test is in the programmes taking off the ground.