By Staff Writer
Minister of Youth, Sports, and Arts, Elvis Nkandu has described the just ended African YouthConnekt Summit held in Accra, Ghana as a success.
Mr Nkandu, was accompanied by his counterpart Elias Mubanga, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Dr Lawrence Mwananyanda, Special Assistant to the President for Project Implementation and Monitoring and other senior government officials.
The Summit was held from October 19 to 22, 2021 under the theme “Africa Beyond Aid: Positioning the Youth for the Post Covid-19 Economy and AfCFTA Opportunities” and officially opened by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
It was attended by various Ministers of Youth from Africa, Senior Government Officials, Heads of Development Partners and African Union Commission, Youth Innovators and Entrepreneurs among others.
Speaking during the courtesy call on the Zambian High Commission, Mr Nkandu indicated that there were a number of lessons learnt from the summit which if replicated in Zambia could help in advancing and building skills capacity for the youths.
Mr Nkandu said the lessons learnt, if well enhanced, could help the Zambian youths become self-reliant as they aim to innovate in different sectors of the economy and create jobs.
The Minister cited an example of the One District One Factory Programme being implemented by the Government of Ghana as a good programme that can create jobs for the youths and that the aim of the New Dawn Government that was put into power by the youths on the premise of job creation would endeavor that such good progammes are replicated in Zambia.
And the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Mr Mubanga said the Summit was an eye opener in trying to impart entrepreneurship skills in the youths who are the key players in economic growth and development.
He stressed the need of drifting away from giving youths hand outs as a form of empowerment to imparting entrepreneurship skills as a sustainable way of empowering the youths.
He said that the New Dawn Government under the Leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema was there to support the growth of small businesses in an organized manner, hence the creation of the new Ministry under his portfolio.
The Minister noted that for this dream to be realized, there was need for closer collaboration with various stakeholders which the summit provided as a starting point and would ensure that lessons learnt would work to attain the vision of his Ministry.
Meanwhile, the two Ministers took advantage of the summit to have side meetings with the following institutions in order to learn best practices that can be replicated in Zambia; Ghana Investment Promotion Center, a Government agency responsible for the promotion of investments in Ghana; Ghana Enterprise Agency, whose mandate is to promote the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; and a meeting with the Special Advisor to the President on Sustainable Development Goals.
The two Ministers further called for closer collaboration between their respective Ministries and the institutions.
This is contained in a statement issued by Hellen Zulu First Secretary – Economic and Trade in Accra.