INDIGENISATION Minister, Patrick Zhuwao, says national youth programs are not Zanu PF projects and the media should desist from reporting as though the ruling party solely owned the initiatives.
Zhuwao said the negative impression created by media reports was derailing some empowerment projects which otherwise should be taking the country forward, changing the narrative and language about young business people.
The Youth minister said this Sunday while addressing journalists at his Mukwati offices where he was announcing yet another steering committee for the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment Strategy (YES) for Investment led by Acie Lumumba.
Lumumba is the past Zimbabwe Youth Council board chairperson. Some of the 12 member committee are Trisheillah Ziwira, Vangelis Peter Harinatos (Mashonaland West), Tatenda Mavetera (Mashonaland East), Andile Sango (Bulawayo) among others.
Zhuwao said the steering committee was going to help his ministry in developing a blue print for the empowerment of young people.
“The mandate of the committee is to develop a practical and positive youth strategy to be adopted in communities with the aim of improving the well-being of Zimbabwean youths and position them to become agents of positive change in their communities,” Zhuwao told journalists.
The YES blueprint will feed into the African Union 2017 theme which is harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in youths, the minister claimed.
“The goal behind developing the YES blue print is to ensure that it will increasingly come to guide work and policy implementation regarding investment in the young people of Zimbabwe.
“Thus, looking at the potential in every young person should be the central guiding principle in the youth programming initiatives,” Zhuwao said.
On the criteria used to identify the committee, Zhuwao said he looked at the age of each member, gender, people living with disabilities, experience in their respective fields and skills.
The committee has been given six weeks to come up with a draft policy document that will be tabled before civil society, private and public sectors for adoption.
Towards the 2013 harmonised elections, President Robert Mugabe launched the National Youth Policy which he said was going ensure that young people were represented properly and that their relevant needs were met.