YOUTH and sport minister Moses Mawere says he wants to see a situation where citizens have more money than the government. And Eastern Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo says young people are a resource for development.
Meanwhile, a youth, Esnart Ngoma, says high unemployment levels have left the skills young people possess underutilised.
Officiating at the Eastern Province Youth Forum at Luangwa House on Wednesday, Mawere said the responsibility of government was to create an environment where people can do what they wanted.
“It’s your responsibility to improve your life; the only responsibility of government is to create the environment and policies, conducive ones, for you to do what you want to do. We are 15 million people; if government gives all of us K500 per month, how much is that money? Now will our income afford it? It will not. Where will government get the money? Government gets the money from us through tax,” Mawere said.
He said citizens should create enough wealth so that government could in turn collect money from them.
“If we want government to provide an enabling environment, let ourselves first of all create enough wealth so that government can come and get money from us. Me, I want to see a situation where the citizens have got more money than the government, not where government
has more money than its citizens then poverty is on us,” said Mawere who also appealed to all provincial administrations countrywide to emulate Eastern Province and start holding provincial forums.
And Kasolo said the youth were a very important resource in the development of the country.
“I am glad to note that a huge number of youths has turned up to be part of this important event in the province. The youth are a very important resource in the development of our country and as such the government places a high premium on their development,” he said.
Kasolo said young people in Zambia still faced numerous challenges such as high rate of unemployment, reproductive health and lack of access to skills, among others.
And Ngoma, who represented the youths, said the young people had been facing various challenges for a long time.
“…we have had a number of challenges such as high unemployment levels, leaving much of the skills that young people possess underutilized. However, with the government’s efforts to the young people in developmental projects such as construction, mining and to a larger extent agriculture, it is worthwhile to note that the lives of the young people will be enhanced,
thereby increasing job opportunities,” said Ngoma.