THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged to help Africa to harness economic growth to spur job creation, especially among youths.
AfDB vice-president, Mthuli Ncube said the bank has since formulated new long-term strategies focusing on an inclusive economic growth.
Speaking at the AfDB seminar on youth employment held in Lusaka yesterday, Professor Ncube said the target was to create productive employment by investing in infrastructure, regional integration and regional markets.
He said Zambia has made tackling youth unemployment a top priority given that the slow progress in poverty reduction and high youth unemployment risks were overshadowing the gains.
Prof Ncube said AfDB will support Africa in transitioning to greener growth by promoting sustainable natural resource management by promoting African countries, Zambia inclusive, to use renewable sources of energy and make climate adaptation a priority.
Earlier, Labour Minister, Fackson Shamenda said statistics showed that 14 per cent of Zambian youths were unemployed as at 2008 while the few that had jobs were in low quality jobs mostly in the informal sector.
Mr Shamenda said his Government had put in place several interventions to arrest youth unemployment through effective job creation to ensure youths got decent jobs.
The minister added that the Ministry of Education and institutions such as Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority will also be engaged so that entrepreneurship was included in the school curriculum.
Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda said high youth unemployment had caused youths to resort to violent ways of expressing themselves each time they were aggrieved.
Mr Chikwanda said Government was now targeting promoting entrepreneurship and vocational training which would help diversification in other sectors like agriculture.
The minister noted that globalisation had come with adverse effects where unemployment has had trickle down effects even in Zambia.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Bob Sichinga, his counterparts from Education, John Phiri, and Youth and Sport, Chishimba Kambwili,
were among the speakers at the seminar as well as Agriculture and Livestock Deputy Minister, Luckson Kazabu.