THE onus is on you, as the new Minister of Youth and Sport, to ensure that you turn our fortunes around, President Edgar Lungu has told Emmanuel Mulenga.
During the swearing in ceremony at State House yesterday, President Lungu said the nation has been disappointed with the performance of the national team lately, especially their failure to go to the 2019 Africa Cup.
“Zambia is a footballing nation and, as you are aware, football unites us every time our national team or indeed our clubs succeed,” he said.
“At international level, the nation has been disappointed with the performance of our national team lately, especially their failure to reach the 2019 finals, when countries we consider minnows qualified, and some even reached as far as the quarterfinals. Therefore, the onus is on you, as the new Minister of Youth and Sport, to ensure that you turn our fortunes around. This you cannot do alone. You will need to tap into the knowledge of sports legends and fans to help you perform this mammoth task.”
President Lungu told Mulenga to call for a sports or football indaba that will come up with a solution to Zambia’s declining sports reputation.
President Lungu also said much needs to be done about other sport disciplines.
“We have not had much success in other sports either. So do not forget about them because our young people have talent in different sports disciplines. Let us ensure success in swimming, athletics, chess, female football, netball, and so on. Let us revive sports as it were on the mines years ago,” he said
“It is my sincere hope that your involvement in the promotion of the welfare of the community even before you became a member of parliament, should help you to fully understand and manage my government’s policy on child development.”
President Lungu said in appointing Mulenga, he reiterated the need for effective implementation of the 2015 National Youth Policy and National Action Plan, whose key objectives are to develop appropriate skills aimed at empowering the Zambian youth.
President Lungu said the PF and his government remained committed to the promotion of the welfare of the Zambian youth.
“As you take up office, you will be required to ensure that our commitment to the youth is fully implemented to meet their aspirations irrespective of where they are. Zambia is 60 to 70 per cent youth, so it being a young population, you need to come up with innovation as to how the youth could be engaged in productive activities,” he said. “Engage the defence forces to see how you could synergise ideas to ensure the youth become productive. Inspire young people to be productive and to avoid vices like drug abuse and alcohol consumption. Sway them away from promiscuity to avoid affliction from diseases such as HIV/AIDS.”
President Lungu said the economy can only grow if the youth are engaged in productive ventures, but this can only happen if they are given skills, and these skills could come from trades schools dotted all over the country.
“I would like you to work with the Ministry of General Education, and the Ministry of Higher Education so that we increase the intake of the youth in trades schools. Universities cannot take in everybody,” said President Lungu.