But for many of the youths, this is a day that reminds them of the many struggles they have to go through every day to make ends meet – lack of jobs, money and adequate food to eat, etc. Some lump the blame on the government for their problems. Why is this so?
We have the Ministry of Youths and Sports, which we believe must be one of the most active ministries of this country. Their job is quite huge and they must carefully plan for the most productive population of this country so that Zambia can achieve the needed goals economically. The Ministry of Youth and Sport mustn’t only be active on sports issues – soccer only for that matter – but must pay a lot of attention to the youth and encourage innovation among this young generation to counter joblessness.
Our youth population currently stands at 4.8 million (according to the Central Statistics Office data), a huge number whose potential must be properly utilized for the country’s benefit. This is a population with all the energy one requires to make a living but for some, they cannot do anything until the government employs them. This is where we have a problem!
To begin with, our schools must incorporate entrepreneurship into the curriculum so that upon completion of senior secondary and university or college education, our youths’ focus mustn’t only be on government employment. They must, as a matter of fact, stand on their own at this point and begin to run businesses and projects that require little or no dependence on a government job. Of course, there is nothing wrong with one waiting for the government to employ him or her. But what becomes a problem is complete dependence on the government even for things that individuals can sort out by collaborating with their peers and finding sustainable businesses or projects. Business skills can be enhanced if taught in schools. Our young people must be preoccupied with being their own bosses than having to work for decades and achieving little or nothing at all for their children and children’s children.
With all this said, the Ministry of Youth, however, still bears the bigger burden to sort out the current situation among the youths. The youths of this country belong to this ministry and it is this section of the government that must take absolute responsibility of them. The Ministry of Youths must be in the forefront of encouraging innovation among the youths of this country to help them attain financial independence even when they are unemployed. At the moment, this ministry doesn’t seem to have a clear plan on how to help the youth of this country. There is the youth Fund, yes, but what this country needs right now is serious innovation, especially among the youths, to achieve the set goals as stipulated in the 7th National Development Plan and the Vision 2030. And the only way the youths can innovate is by having a vibrant Ministry of Youth that can tap into the potential of these youngsters and develop them for the country’s benefit. We have 4.8 million youths in Zambia, most of whom are wasting. Instead of all those unemployed waiting for government jobs, the Ministry of Youth must deeply think about strategies to help this vibrant population and begin to plan for long-term projects for them.