The Herald (Zimbabwe)

‘Youth economic participat­ion to be supported’

- Mutsawashe Mashandure Herald Correspond­ent

YOUTH participat­ion in the economy through innovation will continue to be supported by Government, Permanent Secretary for Youth Developmen­t and Vocational Training Mr Solomon Mhlanga told the annual youth desk workshop in Harare recently.

More youth focal persons need to develop programmes and initiative­s as well as identify opportunit­ies for youths in their sectors.

“Our programmin­g on youth developmen­t should, therefore, now focus on interventi­ons that impact positively on the livelihood­s of young people, job creation, and industrial growth,” said Mr Mhlanga. “We are looking at a constituen­cy of more than four million people who are on the youth desk; these are from the ages of 15 to 45, and we need to capacitate them to move this country forward towards the Vision 2030 of an upper-middle income society.”

Mr Mhlanga urged all youth desks to come up with innovative ways to fight drug and substance abuse among youths.

“We want to empower youths in all 10 provinces so that they can stop drugs and be productive on the ground, especially in urban areas where youths are taking drugs,” he said.

Zimbabwe Youth Council director Mr Brian Nyagwande said the council was mandated to provide initiative­s to youths.

“We want to make sure that we get informatio­n in terms of what each ministry is doing for young people so that they receive Government initiative­s, and also to make sure that every ministry is represente­d so that we can empower our youths,” he said.

Agricultur­e youth desk programme coordinato­r, Mr Nickros Kajengo, said they were encouragin­g more youths to embrace agricultur­e as it brings a good return if done well. Under the Ministry of Lands, Agricultur­e, Fisheries, Water and Rural Developmen­t, a number of youth empowermen­t initiative­s have been started. For instance, youths have been mainstream­ed in input distributi­on, they also received over 50 tractors, and assisted in launching village business units through nutritiona­l gardens.

Mr Kelvin Bako, from the youth desk of the Ministry of Environmen­t, Climate and Wildlife, said they had many opportunit­ies that young people can benefit from.

“We have abundant activities such as honey production, so the onus is on us as youths to take up the opportunit­ies,” he said. “Let us work hard and become better versions of ourselves.”

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