Republican President, Edgar Lungu has launched the first ever national youth policy and action plan for youth empowerment and employment.
Speaking during the launch this morning, President Lungu says that the two documents will result in creation of over 500,000 jobs for the youths by the end of 2016.
President Lungu says that this will be done through the national training and internship schemes which should create employment for the unskilled youth within participating companies, expansion of low interest credit facilities targeting new and growing youth-led enterprises and provision of on-going business support services including mentorship to youth-led businesses.
Mr. Lungu further explained the jobs will be created by provision of incentives through annual awards to deserving youth-led businesses and that awards must also recognise companies that are targeting the youth for empowerment.
President Lungu says that he expects the ministries of finance and youth and sport to work together on the modalities of achieving this.
And the head of state has directed all ministries, provinces and spending agencies, as well as other stakeholders to provide updated reports on the number of decent and sustainable employment and empowerment opportunities created for the youth in their respective sectors.
He has further directed all line ministries and sectors to offer preferential treatment to qualified youth-led enterprises in awarding of contracts and in the public procurement process.
Meanwhile President Lungu says that today’s launch of the two documents marks the end of an era of politics that promote ‘handouts’ and rhetoric that merely succeeds only at scoring short-term political mileage, at the expense of long-term, sustainable national and youth development goals.
He has challenged the Zambian youth to be positive change agents and to reposition themselves in an effort to contribute positively to national social and economic development agenda.
President Lungu paid tribute to cooperating partners for providing technical and financial support to attain the two documents.