United States, Britain and Sweden today provided 8 million dollars for the second phase of the Zimbabwe Works project which will be used for providing technical, vocational and entrepreneurships skills to 22,500 young people in the next three years.
This follows the successful completion of phase one of the project which ran from 2012 to 2014 and benefitted 8,600 young Zimbabweans. It was funded by the United States Agency for International Development or USAID.
The objective of the Zimworks project, which is being implemented in conjunction with the International Youth Foundation and Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises, is to improve the economic prospects of young people in 11 urban and rural districts nationwide.
The program provides mentorship and internships opportunities for youth and business development services for job seekers.
Zimbabwe USAID mission director Stephanie Funk said despite the challenges and difficulties the country faces, there is tremendous potential for young people in the country.
Zimworks phase beneficiary 27 year old Simbarashe Nyamadzawo says without the training he received under the program, he would not be the successful, motivational speaker, author and employer he is today.
Another beneficiary 23 year old banking and finance graduate, Lisa Mashaka, has started a small catering company - thanks to the Zimworks project.
United Kingdom Department for International Development head in Zimbabwe said while young women are more likely to remain unemployed, the program would provide them with skills, confidence and economic opportunities.
Small and Medium Enterprises Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, commended the US, Britain and Sweden for financing the program which is being implemented at a time when the country is facing serious unemployment challenges.
She said out of the 30,000 school leavers churned out annually only 10 percent were employed.