With the youths in mind

16 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
With the youths in mind Youths require entrepreneurship skills for their own good and that of the nation at large

The ManicaPost

 

Ranson Madzamba
Post Correspondent

 

THE well-known philosopher and most respected emperor in Roman history, Marcus Aurelius once said: “The opinion of 10 000 men is of no value if none of them knows anything about the subject.”

Well, I always say it loud that, anything for youths without youths is not for the youths.

Whenever people gather to deliberate or plan about youth issues, they must, without fail, involve youths.

The youths know what they want and therefore must guide the processes accordingly.

As a way to incorporate youths in the development discourse of our country, Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training Minister, Honourable Tino Machakaire recently met various youth associations and deliberated on how the young ones can be empowered for the good of their lives and the nation at large.

Minister Machakaire and his team has realised how essential it is to include youths when planning for them.

The 21st of February (Wednesday) is National Youth Day and preparations to celebrate this important day on our calendar are at peak and all is going on well.

Since this is the month we celebrate our youths, a lot of people are eager to know what it is that is taking place to empower the young people of our great nation.

It is true that youths require entrepreneurship skills for their own good and that of the nation at large.

They are the active age and their great inputs are essential for the realisation of an upper middle-income society by 2030.

Having realised the importance of youths in our development trajectory, the new dispensation created a stand-alone Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training.

The young people must be mainstreamed in all facets of national development, including having access to productive resources and opportunities in all sectors.

The Minister has met with youths in agriculture, mining, tourism and the transport sector.

The ministry is thus guided by the National Development Strategy (NDS1) which targets to increase the number of youths accessing economic empowerment opportunities.

The call from the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training to urgently operationalise Youth Focal Desks in all Government ministries, departments and agencies must be embraced by everyone.

To start any business or any economic activity, capital is required.

 

Therefore, the establishment of a bank − Empower Bank − to fund youth projects and programmes was welcomed by the majority of Zimbabweans.

It is important that people, mostly youths, are aware of what is being offered by Empower Bank and if the services are saving the major purpose of developing the younger generation.

Most youths fail to access funding from financial institutions as they do not have the required collateral such as immovable properties.

Empower Bank has, however, tailor-made its services to suit the need of clients, mostly women and youths.

The bank has thus developed loan products that are youth-centric and now offers flexible collateral requirements for one to get a loan and these include:

*A pledge of household property (TV, Radio etc)

*A pledge of livestock

Also to note is the fact that youths can now form groups and cross-guarantee each other as a way of accessing loans.

 

Groups are required to sign a Memorandum of Agreement to guarantee the loans.

The bank recently launched a collateral-free nano loan (kaJega) to allow youths to have access to small loans up to US$500 without collateral to finance bankable micro-business projects.

The youths can access the nano loans as individuals or as groups.

Any youth seeking funding from Empower Bank can access the loans and the process is as follows:

*Draft a business plan/proposal which shows growth and profitability over time.

*Complete the loan application form and account opening forms.

*Submission of required documents (Copy ID, proof of residency).

For SME loans, borrowers will require company documents such as tax clearance and company profile.

 

On that note, youths are encouraged to register their businesses, which can easily be done through the Zimbabwe Youth Council.

Government, through the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training, is working hard to create an enabling environment for the empowerment of youths.

The ministry is tirelessly working towards the transformation of Vocational Training Centres.

Vocational Training Centres were established throughout the country to provide skills training that enable the youths to start their own income generating projects and create employment for themselves and the nation at large.

The more we come up with various ways of empowering our youths, the more they shun drug and substance abuse.

Ranson Madzamba is a Communication and Advocacy Deputy Director for the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training.

 

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