Power and Politics

Govt prioritizing youth employment, skills acquisition, healthcare for rapid economic development —Phiri


Government has put in place various initiatives to transform the livelihood of youths across the country for sustained economic growth.

Eastern Province Minister Peter Simon Phiri said during the celebration of youth Day held at Chipata Golf Course which was attended by Agriculture Minister Reuben Mtolo Phiri that the youth remain a priority under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema.

“You may wish to note that the government has during the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) period 2022 – 2026 planned to reduce unemployment and improve the quality of and access to education by building more schools and increasing teacher recruitment.

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He said it was in this regard that the government has put in place initiatives and programmes aimed at increasing opportunities for the youth to exploit their full potential.

Phiri said government was cognizant of the high rate of youth unemployment saying it was working tirelessly to mitigate this challenge.

“As you are aware the new Dawn Administration in 2022 employed the 30,000 teachers and 11,200 health workers in an effort to improve the quality of education and provision of good health care services. this saw eastern province benefiting 4,202 teachers and 1,127 health workers,” he said.

Phiri said this year government plans to employ an additional 4,500 teachers and 3,000 health workers across the country.

He said through such efforts among others, government was resolutely dealing with the issue of unemployment in the country especially among the youths.

He said the government has further prioritised, skills development for the youth, in an effort to reduce unemployment.

He said through the bursary support under Constituency Development Fund (CDF), young people have been given an opportunity to access support within their communities.

He said the decentralisation of access to bursaries and finance for projects through the CDF was intended to ensure that no youth was left behind.

Phiri said through the Ministry of Youths, Sports and Arts, the development of the National Youth Policy and the National Strategy for Youth Development has reached an advanced stage.

“You may wish to note that this was a resolution that arose from last year’s Youth Indaba. Our commitment as the UPND government is to ensure that we actualise policies and our pronouncements,” he said.

Phiri said the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts was implementing a number of programmes to promote youth employment and empowerment in order to improve the living standards of the youth.

Youth representative Gift Sakala applauded the government for the strides they have made in ensuring that the youth are given an opportunity to find employment.

He also applauded government for prioritising the empowerment of young people through provision of free education for the vulnerable youth.

Sakala said despite the interventions young people were still faced with a number of challenges such as lack of access to information.

“I wish to call on government to hasten the provision of an integrated information portal that is easily accessible by the youth for dissemination of empowerment opportunities. This will enable the youth to get first hand information on various government programmes and projects.

And also to ensure that information is provided in local language as well,” he said.

Contributed by Julius Phiri

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