28 March 2014

Zambia: Youth Funds - NGO Urges Transparency

A NON-Governmental Organisation, Youths for Transparency and Integrity has called for transparency in the disbursement of Youth Empowerment Funds.

YTI director Bright Muchimba said the fund is meant to increase youth participation in national development as they succeed in their business hence the need for every youth to benefit from it regardless of their political affliation.

Mr Muchimba described the current disbursement of the empowerment fund as biased and that the current requirements for accessing the funds were too much for most youths.

He urged the people responsible for allocating the funds to make the process and procedure more flexible so that any youth with a viable business idea or plan is not denied the chance of accessing the funds.

"We want to air concerns on the distribution of youth empowerment funds. We have realised that the aspect of empowering comes because many youths in the country do not have what it takes to start a business hence they need empowerment in form of capital so that they can lay a strong foundation and be able to repay the borrowed funds," he said.

Earlier this month, Commerce Deputy Minister Miles Sampa said most loan applications by youths to access empowerment funds were being rejected due to improperly done project proposals.

Mr Sampa made the statement when responding to demands by youths in Northern Province on Youth Day that they wanted to know why many of the applications made by youths in the province were unsuccessful.

The youths also said they want to see more funds made available to them through the Youth Empowerment Fund and a quota reserved for them by the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC).

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