By Nation Reporter
ZAMBIA is among the eight African countries which have joined forces in enhancing youth entrepreneurship eco-systems and in facilitating collaboration on joint activities that will promote trade within and across borders.
Countries in an initiative duped “The Southern African chapter of the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAYE-SA)” are Zambia, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.
One of the top priorities of CAYE-SA is to tackle the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality through cross-border trade facilitations.
The new alliance would link and support young African entrepreneurs as they aim to contribute at the heart of national development.
The connections would help drive trade and employment and build regional cohesion.
Commenting on the initiative, Youth Entrepreneurship Association of Zambia president Samuel Mulenga, who represented the country at the launch of CAYE-SA in South Africa recently, said the programme could not be announced earlier as they were waiting for Government to be in place.
Mr Mulenga said in an interview that the association needed to engage stakeholders who were the Government in the implementation of the initiative, hence the delay in announcing it to the public.
“The alliance was formed in SA, but because of what was going on in Zambia, we could not announce the partnership.
“We needed to wait because the policy makers needed to know as well who are our stakeholders are, now that we have a Government in place, we are glued to go,” he said.
And Commonwealth Secretariat youth director Katherine Ellis said the coalition would give the young entrepreneurs a voice with policy makers to enhance the youth entrepreneurship environment.
“It is very exciting to see a CAYE-SA alliance forming in the Southern Africa region, which has so many passionate and talented young entrepreneurs, all hungry to grow their businesses and contribute to their countries’ prosperity. And as well as driving trade within and across borders,” she said.
Meanwhile, appointed CAYE-SA advisor Innocentia Motau called upon other organisations which supported entrepreneurs to back the vision of CAYE-SA in fostering economic regional integration.