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Southern Province youths shun empowerment fund
20 March 2013
Chief Editor Lusaka Times


Posted By Chief Editor On March 20, 2013 @ 6:17 am In Economy | - LusakaTimes.com - http://www.lusakatimes.com

The Ministry of youth and Sports in Livingstone has expressed worry over the slow response by youths to access the youth empowerment funds to enable them engage in gainful enterprises. Speaking in an interview with ZANIS yesterday , Southern Province Youth Coordinator Vincent Sitali said it was worrying that so far only 25 applications have been received from Livingstone district despite the massive sensitisation programme carried out by the department.

Mr. Sitali said seven applications received were for grants while 18 were for loans under the youth fund. He said although some applications have not yet been received from the Other districts, there were indications that the response from the youths has not been impressive.

“As a department we worried at the rather poor response from youths to apply for these funds and we hope that with the help of some districts volunteer committees that we formed to continue sensitisations we hope to see an increase in the number of application forms submitted,” said Mr. Sitali.

“In my own opinion I would be happy if we can have least 150 applications approved for the entire province”. He said the department had planned to conduct the first evaluation exercise of the application forms on 20 February to facilitate release of funds to approved projects this month but could not do so because of the poor response. “We were supposed to have the first evaluation of the forms on 20th February but we are still waiting to have at least 30 forms to begin the evaluation process”, said Mr. Sitali.

Government this year allocated K1.3 Billion (KR1.3 Million) under the youths empowerment fund for southern province for youths to engage in projects including tourism, agro processing, primary agriculture, arts among many others. He further explained that the department would like to utilize all the money allocated unlike last year when the province only used about K500 Million to approved youths projects out of the total allocation of K1.1 Billion. He encouraged the youths to apply for the funds to enable them benefit from the United Nations World Tourism Oranisation General Assembly (UNWTO) to be co-hosted between Zambia and Zimbabwe in August this year.

ZANIS


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