Source: Govt pledges to support entrepreneurial youths | The Herald July 29, 2019
Tapiwa Mutizamhepo and Yeukai Tazira
Government will continue creating platforms that allow youths to showcase innovative ideas for the development of communities, Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry has said.
She was speaking at the Harare provincial Youth Connekt Start Up business pitching competition held in Harare yesterday.
“My ministry will continue engaging various partners to create more platforms like these, which empower the youth to create and express ideas that change society,” she said.
She said youths have an important role to play in the development of the nation.
“Young people in Zimbabwe know how to transform challenges into opportunities, I was impressed with the presentations made, and we will continue to ensure that we create more platforms of this nature,” the minister said.
UNDP Resident Representative Mr Georges van Mortfort said he was impressed by the business pitches that were presented and that there is enormous potential.
“Youth Connekt is in Africa and it’s a recognition that we have got so much young people in Africa and the continent is growing the fastest and that population needs to be able to express themselves and be able to help the continent to move forward.
“As part of the broader effort we realised the same with Zimbabwe and we wanted to shift the discussion from one where everybody complaints about the problems we are having to one where we are actually talking about solutions and innovations. We saw it here today, despite all the challenges people are coming up with solutions that are quite amazing,” said Mr Mortfort.
The Youth Connekt is a competition funded by the United Nations Development Programme that targets innovative youths between 18 and 35 years.
The youth with the most innovative idea from each of the country’s 10 provinces receives a start-up prize of US$5 000.
The 10 provincial winners are set to meet in the national finals in September.
Youth Connekt Zimbabwe is part of the overall network of Connekt hubs established in other parts of Africa to bring partners together and help empower Africa’s youth with skills, networks and information needed to scale their initiatives and gain meaningful employment.