OVER 3,000 youths in Zanzibar have benefited from the 3bn/-youth employment programme that started in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the House of Representatives heard on Tuesday.
Youth, Culture, Arts and Sports Minister, Ambassador Ali Abeid Karume, moving the ministry's 2020/2021 budget estimates, said the programme has so far created jobs for 2,102 and 1,198 youths in Unguja and Pemba, respectively, mostly in agriculture and industrial projects as well as capacity building.
Ambassador Karume said 507 youths through 23 agricultural groups in Unguja and Pemba were reached and supplied with various farming inputs, including seedlings, seeds, fertilisers, water tanks and irrigation pipes.
Construction of 19 green houses, drilling of 32 deep wells and installation of irrigation infrastructure are progressing well in Unguja and Pemba's districts, said the minister, hinting that 13 green houses and 27 wells have been completed.
The green house farming, according to the minister, envisages profiting 991 youths under the tutelage of Zanzibar's special economic arm-Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi (JKU).
The government further plans construction and renovation of infrastructures for chicken, bees and fishing farms at Kinduni, Mkadini, Mwera, Maungani, Kidimni and Kitogani areas, with 176 youth beneficiaries targeted.
Minister Karume told the house that 21 tailoring groups-12 in Unguja and nine in Pemba-have been supplied with tailoring equipment, including Butterfly and Singer sewing machines and tables, pledging that 132 youths-84 in Pemba and 48 in Unguja-in various vocational training institutions, will receive their tools upon completion of schooling.
Under capacity building project, 660 youths are undergoing tailor made courses in tailoring, carpentry and welding.
Ambassador Karume further said that the ministry has provided farming tools, soap and shoe making raw materials, sewing machines, water pumps and tanks to people with disability department for distribution to 31 groups of people with disability.
He said the ministry will in the next financial year spend 2.5bn/-in coordination of youth development activities, especially supporting the young generation into becoming powerful economically, socially and politically, through various programmes.
"We envisage increased jobs for the youths in the long-run through execution of various empowerment programmes," Minister Karume told members of the house.
Coordination and management of youth activities, preparation of guidelines for youth development activities, coordination of patriotic activities and supervision of the youth councils operations are among the key activities to advance the plight of youth in the coming year.