Youths demand more from Treasury

Source: Youths demand more from Treasury – NewsDay Zimbabwe


THE Youth ministry has decried high unemployment levels in the country and called upon Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to allocate more funds towards the sector during the 2022 National Budget in order it to deal with drug and substance abuse problems among young people.

The calls come amid a rapid increase in the unemployment rate in the country, which have been adjudged to be one of the barriers to youth economic empowerment and financial inclusion.

Youth and Sport minister Kirsty Coventry on Sunday told a Parliament pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls that more budgetary resources should be directed towards the youth, arts and sports sectors to reduce the country’s social services bill and enhance job creation.

“My submission is that there should be a deliberate policy to set aside funding for the youth, sport and arts sector to ensure sustainable national development,” Coventry said.

“It is proposed that the funding to this sector be either in the form of concessionary loans, grants and relief funds. In addition, there is need for funding for capital expenditure in respect of public sector investment programmes (PSIP) and  ministry operations — thus for mobility including office furniture and equipment for district offices should be considered a priority for meaningful service delivery.”

Coventry said meaningful budgetary funding would have a positive impact on national production and development.

“Unless and until this ministry is allocated a meaningful budget to implement priority programmes for life sustenance, the challenges associated with young people, which include drug and substance abuse among others, more so, loss of productivity, will remain with us.

“Harnessing the youth demographic dividend is the only and best option available and the way to go. The need therefore, to exploit such an opportunity cannot be over-emphasised.  It’s now time the nation should embark on or seriously consider significant investment in youth, sport and arts for sustainable national development, pride, peace and security,” she said.

The country has been witnessing declining participation in sport and recreation activities due to weak economic activities.