ZIMCODD Alumni calls for youth inclusion in accessing economic opportunities

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Isheunesu Tirivangani

Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development’s (ZIMCODD) Social Economic Justice Ambassador (SEJA) Academy class of 2022 Alumni is calling for youth participation and inclusion in accessing economic opportunities, this publication can review.

This comes after the organisation carried out research, and noted that the youth consists of over 61% of the population only, yet 0.61 percent of the 2022 budget was allocated to the youths. The figure is limited when it comes to allocations for the education of small enterprise development. The current state of the economy is highly informal the youth employment exemption tax has not been effective. Furthermore, there is not a single entrepreneurship grant designed to help young people leap from the informal sector to the mainstream economy.

Speaking in an interview with this reporter, Mufaro Jonasi the co-research secretary for ZIMCODD SEJA Academy class of 2022 Alumni Youth Advocacy steering committee said that there is a need to reach large populations of young people in the country.

“We want to reach to more young people out there so that they try and participate in this survey that we are partaking in, as we intend to engage the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth Sports and Recreation, the Ministry of Finance, and the Zimbabwe Youth Council with the idea of advocating for more inclusion in accessing Economic Opportunities for the youth.

“Our main objective is to highlight and bring awareness as to the extent where young people in Zimbabwe from the ages of 18-35 get access to economic opportunities, be it employment, capital to start a business through loans, and grants fellowships. A development that will go a long way to pull out the youth in Zimbabwe from poverty, while reducing the intake of drugs by the youth,” said Jonasi.

Jonasi further highlighted that the organisation is advocating for a review of funds allocated in the national Budget to the youth ministry by engaging the parliamentary portfolio committee on Youth sports and recreation. There is also a need to evaluate the effectiveness of current youth institutions in empowering the youth economically, such as the empowerment bank, the Zimbabwe youth council, and the ministry of youth itself.

“We are on 150 responses so far and we need at least 500-1000. After that, we will create a data sheet report, and then submit it to the parliamentary portfolio committee on Youth sports and recreation, requesting oral submissions to articulate the issues raised in the survey. Thereafter we will also approach the Zimbabwe Youth Council with the same view and the Ministry of Finance advising them on how the young people are struggling.

“It is sad that youths who want access to credit in order kick start a business need collateral which is the most significant drawback. Most young people as we are observing in the survey do not have access to that collateral. The best way is for young people to form cooperatives, this will help them influence the leavers of production in their local communities, and for example, if 10 young people who are rearing 50 chickens each can form an easy cooperative business it means they have 500 chickens. They can be in a position to influence market prices to retailers, and restaurants by offering competitive prices, this will also reduce their production costs, while providing additional employment, and a chance for growth,” he added.

ZIMCODD Social Economic Justice Ambassador (SEJA) Academy class of 2022 Alumni is pushing for the inclusion of young people in the decision-making processes, be it in public consultations so that they are not left behind in key issues that involve them.

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