Govt launches $6m aquaculture Youth funds

 Govt launches $6m aquaculture Youth funds

Government has launched the six million United States Dollars Aquaculture seed fund Youth Empowerment Initiative under the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development project.

Vice President Inonge Wina, who launched the initiative, said the seed fund will help the youths venture into aquaculture value chain .

Mrs Wina says the fund will also build capacity for youths who lack skills and knowledge in aquaculture as a business venture.

She said 62 million Kwacha has already been approved for empowering youths in 10 provinces.

Mrs Wina has since urged youths to take advantage and apply to benefit from the fund.

The Vice President, who was speaking in Lusaka today, said the Government is committed to carrying out empowerment programmes that will uplift the lives of all.

She also said those that benefit from the fund should pay back the loans, so that other youths can benefit .

Mrs Wina said through the initiative the country is expected to reduce the 87 thousand fish deficit thereby enhancing economic development and poverty reduction.

And Livestock Minister Nkandu Luo said the ministry will give 6 Million United states dollars to youths in the country so that they can participate actively .

Prof Luo said the ministry continues to give 30 percent of projects to youths further advising them to acquire more information so that they can benefit from empowerment programmes.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Emmanuel Mulenga said there is need for Government to address the challenges that youths are facing such as Tax rebates.

Mr Mulenga also said youths in the country are requesting for 10 percent of the 20 percent local contractors policy in construction works.

He said this will enable youths to be active participants in the development of the country.

And Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya urged youths in the country to carry the national flag high in building the factual image of the country.

Ms Siliya said the youths should provide solutions to the challenges that the country is facing because there are various opportunities that lie in it.

And Lands Minister Jean Kapata said the land policy once enacted will enable youths to have the opportunity to own land.

Ms Kapata said the ministry has made progress with the land policy further stating that the document was supposed to be undergoing the validation process but has been delayed due to covid-19.

She noted that owning land is a viable resource because youths will be able to undertake various economic activities such as agriculture.

And Minister of Tourism Ronald Chitotela urged youths NOT to let politics rob them of their vision of contributing towards developing the country.

Mr. Chitotela said Government is ready to support all performing and nonperforming artistes to enable them grow the Arts industry.

He noted that through the 30 Million Kwacha youth empowerment scheme approved by Government, artistes will be able to stimulate growth in the industry and contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Mr. Chitotela further said youths should cease the opportunities in the tourism industry adding that sustainable tourism development is anchored on youths.

Meanwhile, Minister of Gender Elizabeth Phiri encouraged youths in the country to form cooperatives to enable them benefit from the various empowerment programs .

Ms Phiri said youths can exploit their potential toeffectively contribute to economic activities through cooperatives.

And Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo has encouraged youths in the country to apply for land within the farming blocks in the 10 provinces.

Mr. Katambo said the Ministry has farming blocks with 100 thousand hectares of land in every province.

He urged more youths to participate in agricultural activities so that the can earn for their livelihood and contribute to the growth of the sector.

Mr. Katambo noted that last year over 4 hundred and 76 thousand youths benefited under the FISP programmes.

Meanwhile, Housing and Infrastructure Minister Vincent Mwale said the ministry is working at enacting a bill that will enable youths to also participate in construction works.

And, Transport and Communications Mutotwe Kafwaya said it is time for Government to continue creating opportunities for young people.

Mr. Kafwaya disclosed that cabinet approved the setting up of a cyber city in Ndola which will help advance ICT in the country.

He said a place to set up the cyber city has been identified and is engaging the Ministry of Land over the piece of land.

And, Commerce and Trade Minister Christopher Yaluma has instructed the CEEC and Zambia Development Agency -ZDA – to promote the participation of youths in various business ventures.

Mr. Yaluma said there are alot of opportunities that young people can tap into so that the able to grow their businesses and penetrate various markets.

And the youths that talked during the ceremony, have called for support to enable them to participate in contributing to the country’s economic development.

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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