‘Quick-win’ – high impact Projects for Job Creation identified
GOVERNMENT has mobilized an additional K4 million aimed at empowering over 2,000 youth street vendors, Minister of Youth and Sport Hon. Moses Mawere (MP) has revealed.
In a ministerial statement to Parliament on Wednesday 20th September 2017, Mr. Mawere stated that his ministry in consultation with the stakeholders has identified ‘quick-win’ projects with high impact of creating employment for the youth such as the Youth Street Vendors Empowerment Scheme.
The empowerment scheme was officially launched in June 2016, by Her Honour Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina, the Vice-President to complement the first ever action plan for youth empowerment which was launched in 2015 by His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu the view of increasing access to affordable finance for youth street vendors in order to make their businesses sustainable and profitable for their improved livelihoods.
And Mr Mawere said, the project aim is to empower and enable the youths to grow their businesses to higher levels that will make them leave the streets to trade in more organised models of trading such as transacting in shops.
“The principle, therefore, is that once a youth gets a loan, liquidates it, that youth is eligible to get the same or a higher amount.” He explained.
Mr. Mawere further guided that the implementation of the Youth Street Vendors Empowerment Scheme was guided by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed among three stakeholders namely; Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development; Zambia Postal Services Corporation and the United Street Vendors Foundation Cooperative Society Limited.
“Under the MOU, Sir, my ministry is responsible for resource mobilisation and overall coordination of the scheme while ZamPost is responsible for loan management. The United Street Vendors Foundation Cooperative is responsible for mobilisation of the street vendors who are the beneficiaries, monitoring and ensuring that the loans are paid back.” Said Mr. Mawere.
Below are the criteria to be met to qualify for the Youth Street Vendors Empowerment Scheme:
(a) Must be a youth aged between 18 and 35 years;
(b) Must be engaged in an operational business;
(c) Must be a member of the United Street Vendors Foundation Cooperative;
(d) the application must be supported with a recommendation from a person with good standing in society such as civic leaders, religious leaders and traditional leaders. This also includes District Commissioners, Council Chairpersons, Town Clerks or Mayors;
(e) the youth should undergo orientation in basic entrepreneurship, financial literacy, marketing and customer service conducted by Future Search and Zampost.
The scheme was piloted in 2016 with an initial K5 million which was disbursed to 2,225 youth. The additional K4 million will empower 2,667 youth street vendors.
“For the Copperbelt Province, we shall also reach out to the youth street vendors in Chingola and Chililabombwe Districts. These are two districts with relatively high numbers of youth engaged in street vending that were not touched in the previous disbursement.
Sir, we are using population distribution as a determining variable in distributing the K4 million to the other provinces. Therefore, provinces with higher population figures will get higher amounts. The maximum loan amount will be K1, 500.” Mr Mawere said.