Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Government has created more than 93 000 jobs for young people in the country through young entrepreneurs who have benefited from the economic empowerment revolution.
The Deputy Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Development, Retired Major Mathius Tongofa, said this in a ministerial statement delivered in Parliament on Wednesday.
Cde Tongofa said his ministry had come up with a publication called ZimCHEER Herald that outlines the ministry’s initiatives to acknowledge and celebrate young entrepreneurs who are innovatively contributing to the country’s economic transformation.
“Pursuant to this, the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Development will be celebrating Zimbabwe’s champions and heroes of the economic empowerment revolution. During the last quarter of 2016, the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, through all of its youth officers spread across all the country’s wards, districts and provinces, has identified 39 385 young entrepreneurs who have created a total of 93 692 jobs,” he said.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, this is Volume 1 of the ZimCHEER Herald which we are launching and we will give each Hon. Member to go through. We used our own youth officers to gather information about young people who are in each constituency and we have got 39 385 young people who are engaged in business activities. These are the young people and 20 of them are in this Herald. These are the young people who will be capacitated with money from the Empower Bank.”
Earlier on, Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwawo told MPs that his Ministry was involved in the provision of skills at its 42 vocational training centres.
He said the vocational training centres also provide entrepreneurial skills.
“As a ministry, we have received from Treasury during the year 2016 an amount of $2,5 million. We are utilising that amount towards establishment, as indicated by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, of a youth focused micro-finance institution. Processes of establishing that particular micro-finance institution are at an advanced stage.
“Through part of the indigenisation legislation, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has put in place measures for all financial institutions to provide at least five percent of their loan book towards empowering young people,” said Cde Zhuwawo.
He said the Ministry had engaged Old Mutual to allow young people who do not have collateral to access loans. “We are also in discussions with the Central Bank as part of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, for the Central Bank to engage with financial institutions so that they can utilise the transaction history of young people that utilise financial institutions as a basis for securitising their access to credit,” said Cde Zhuwawo.