AFDB invests US$3,5 million towards upliftment of youths in Zimbabwe

By Lisa Masuku

Young entrepreneurs have been challenged to be innovative to enhance business value chains through harnessing local resources for the attainment of Vision 2030.

In her message after touring exhibition stands at the inaugural national youth business expo in Bulawayo this Friday, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Sekai Nzenza encouraged young entrepreneurs to harness local resources and reduce the country’s import bill.

“Now is the time for us as Zimbabweans to be innovative. This comes at a time when the Ministry of Industry is rolling out the local content strategy. Prof Murwira mentioned that we have got so many resources in this country. We are pushing for value addition because we have been exporting and we continue to export our products raw as they are. What I mean is we are not fully benefiting from our local resources,” she said.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira spoke on the need for self-belief to attain national goals.

He said, “Development of a country is a mental game, it starts with us. We have to believe that in order to develop this country it has to develop based on its natural resources.”

The first ever national youth expo is expected to open windows of opportunity for young people to contribute meaningfully to the national development agenda.

Dr Sithembiso Nyoni, Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, said, “It’s very impressive to see young people taking the lead in implementing the national slogan “Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo (The country is built by its people). The creativity showcased by young people here was very impressive.”

“Young people are taking what we have and driving development, thus, showing how resilient they are in driving the country’s development,” noted Dr Kirsty Coventry, the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.

The Africa Development Bank (AFDB) also indicated that it has made an investment to the tune of US$3.5 million towards the creation of decent jobs for women and youths in the country.

“We have already approved a new project. The sustainable enterprise development for women and youth project for an amount of about US$3.5 million. The new project will consolidate the gains that have been made to date. The aim of the new project is to improve incomes and creation of decent jobs for both women and youths,” said Kelvin Banda, AFDB principal country economist.

The inaugural national youth business expo seeks to strengthen the role played by young people in developing the economy.

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