Government has disbursed over K42 million towards youth programmes throughout Zambia under the Youths Development Fund, says Youth and Sports deputy minister Ronald Chitotela said.
Mr. Chitotela said the money had been disbursed to over 2, 600 youths since 2011.
And Mr. Chitotela said the ministry had taken President Edgar Lungu’s directive seriously to revise the process of accessing the youth development funds by decentralizing the methods.
“We took the Presidential directive very seriously and right now we are overwhelmed by the applications we are receiving as a ministry,” he said.
Mr. Chitotela said the youths should take the fund seriously and ensure that they explain their initiatives to district offices and members of parliament for them to access the funds.
“It is not by word of mouth that they can get funding, they need to take their project plans to the offices of district commissioners, and their members of parliament who will show how to apply for the funds,”he said.
He said it was unfortunate that members of the public had a perception that youths could only access the funds only if they had connections with the Government.
Mr. Chitotela said the youth empowerment fund was accessible to all the youths of Zambia who are between 18 and 35 years regardless of their political affilliation.
“We do not give to individual persons, we give to groups or companies, a limited company, one needs to belong to an association to access the funds,” Chitotela said.
He however urged the youths to change their mindsets towards work, stating that they should venture into technical skill acquisition to enhance the economic growth of Zaambia. Mr. Chitotela said it was unfortunate that most youths wanted to be employed by Government without releasing that they could be their own bosses by setting up their own organizations.
“The only problem is that every youth wants to do law, wants to become accountants, but the country has produced a lot of accountants who cannot find employment,” said. Mr. Chitotela said it was PF vision to see that Zambian youths contributed to the country’s economic growth.
He said the ministry would always provide the funds for youth empowerment and the procedure had actually been made simple.
“We have members from the Anti-Corruption Commission , the office of the president, independent people, to nesure transparency. May be it is lack of information that makes people think that they needed to belong to a political party for them to access these funds,” he said