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Youths Not Accessing Zimbabwe Empowerment Fund

  • Loirdham Moyo

Some claim that only youths affiliated to President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party are accessing the fund.

Some claim that only youths affiliated to President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party are accessing the fund.

Zimbabwean youths from provinces other than Harare have long complained about lack of access to resources to start income generating projects.

Youths, bearing the brunt of the country’s company closures and harsh economic climate, have questioned the Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund’s continuous failure to ensure youths have access to the $10 million fund that has largely benefited youths in Harare.

In Mutare, Zimbabwe Youths Council (ZYC) communications manager Tanzikwa Guranungo says local youths face huge hurdles as they try to access funds to kick-start their business projects.

Guranungo says a cocktail of challenges still limit Zimbabwe’s young, talented youths from pursuing the dream of being their own bosses.

He says more needs to be done to ensure all youths with viable business projects access the much-needed funds to start their own businesses.

The youth leader says the ZYC, an institution dedicated to serving the young people of Zimbabwe through creating platforms for empowerment and participation, has also had its own shortcomings and challenges.

Guranungo says the ZYC, which was formed in 1997, has been receiving complaints from its members who, due to increasing company closures, are failing to get industrial attachments while still at college when they need to get a hands-on feel of the nature of work they might take up.

He says more resources are also needed to fund youths in tertiary colleges.
Guranungo adds the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the treasury, among others, should help fund the country’s youths.

He says the needs of the youth in economic empowerment and development require a multi-pronged approach.

The ZYC communications manager says the majority of youths complain that major hurdles remain as they fail to access loans to bankroll their proposed business ventures.

Guranungo says if properly funded, his organization could help about seven million youths through various forms of training, including writing business proposals and related issues.
But Mutare youth, Zaphania Makaripe, says most youths are yet to benefit from the ZYC since its formation.

The ZYC was set up to co-ordinate, supervise and foster activities of youth clubs, associations or organizations from grassroots to national level.

It is the sole register of Youth Associations in Zimbabwe which ensures the proper administration of youth clubs, associations or organizations.

To date, the group says it has ensured youth participation in national and international activities through associations registered with the council, adding it has been the interface between the government and the youth.
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