Sport, Youth and Child Development Minister Kenneth Chipungu has disclosed that Government has increased the Youth Development Fund in the 2011 national budget from K5 billion to K10 billion for the smooth running of youth development projects in the country.
Speaking during the official opening of Mwinilunga Youth Resource Centre, which gobbled K1billion at Senior Chief Kanongesha’s chiefdom of the Lunda speaking people of North Western Province , Mr Chipungu said that funds were meant for youths who have dropped out of school and those who have never been to enable them venture into income generating projects.
ZANIS reports that in a speech read on his behalf by Sports Youth and Child Development Permanent Secretary Teddy Mulonga, Mr Chipungu said the Youth Development fund has been created by Government to promote entrepreneurship development in a bid to reduce unemployment levels in the country.
He said the Ministry was responsible for the implementation of the National Youth Policy and the African Youth Charter whose strategies focused on Youth Empowerment.
He said the Ministry was currently running 16 Youth Resource Centres throughout the country aimed at providing life long skills to the youth which he described as another way of creating informal employment in the country thereby reducing poverty levels among the youth.
Mr Chipungu said the commissioning of Mwinilunga Youth Resource Centre will increase the number of resource centres from 16 to 17 in the country.
The Minister stated that in 2011, the ministry will commission four more youth resource centres in order to reach out to many youths especially in the rural areas.
He added that Zambia was committed to the Charter on Youth and children in the Sixth National Development Plan which outlined among other things, long life skills training and empowerment of the youth.
Speaking at the same occasion, Senior Chief Kanongesha praised President Rupiah Banda for taking development programmes to his chiefdom and the district at large.
Senior Chief Kanongesha stated that President Banda needed to be commended for his tireless efforts in revamping the country’s economy during the short period of time he had been in office.
He further said the MMD government had proved its political will to fulfil all its promises to the Zambian people adding that President Banda deserved another five- year mandate to accomplish all his developmental programmes.
The chief also paid tribute to the Head of State for the unprecedented record high bumper harvest during the 2009-2010 farming season.
He pledged that the people of Mwinilunga will rally behind President Rupiah Banda in next year’s general elections.