By Nkanyiso Ncube
ZIMBABWE Youth Council (ZYC) has called on government to consider young entrepreneurs when awarding tenders and to also include them across all sectors of the economy in line with the country’s indigenous policies.
The call comes after President Robert Mugabe commissioned the US$3 billion Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu dualisation project which could be Zimbabwe’s biggest infrastructure project since 1980 when the country got its independence.
President Mugabe said 40 percent of the work to be done would be reserved for locals.
ZYC director Livingstone Dzikira said while government is commended for enacting a policy of empowering everyone, the youth should be given a deserving stake.
“As ZYC we want to see government awarding tenders to young people especially the Beitbridge- Chirundu deal, we must have our 25 percent quota given to young people and in that regards we will be assured of youth empowerment and participation.
“Most people may say we don’t have the relevant skill for the jobs but we want government to look at things like road clearing and other handy jobs that young people can do,” he said.
Earlier this year, Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Patrick Zhuwao said government’s ignorance in awarding tenders to young people was sad as they constitute a bigger population that still want to be empowered.
Zhuwao said the Ministry of Youth was in the process of taking adequate measures in ensuring the 25 percent youth quota was adhered to.
“We have that provision in our Youth Empowerment Policy Act, we have reserved sectors which those foreigners shouldn’t be operating under such as that of consultancy as you have mentioned. We are in line of ensuring that space for youths is created in these reserved sectors and the youth quota in all sectors of the economy will be a major issue for implementation,” he said.
Youths account for approximately more than 60 percent of the population but are also the worst affected by unemployment.
In 2000, government crafted the National Youth Policy which seeks to guide the country’s approach to youth development and empowerment. The policy document contains commitments by government to the young people of Zimbabwe.