Youth Innovation Fund in the offing

Lilongwe, :National Youth Council of Malawi will introduce a K1 billion Youth Innovation Fund that aims at supporting innovative economic ideas amongst the youth in the country.

The initiative is expected to be a revolving fund in support of the youth in various enterprising areas of climate change, Agribusiness, Environment and ICT among others.

Executive Director of National Youth Council, Dingiswayo Jere said during briefing of journalists in Lilongwe Monday this was one of the initiatives the council was undertaking to involve the youth in providing solutions to various challenges they are facing, one of them being unemployment among the youth.

This is an idea that emanates from the youth themselves. In the past two annual conferences, the youth have expressed the need to have a youth fund that will support their initiatives.

And as a council, we felt not to wait for donors to come and put money in this fund, but rather mobilize ourselves, the youth, the corporate world and all Malawians to donate money into this fund so that the youth can access it for their different developmental initiatives, he said.

He said as a start, the council is targeting 1 million stakeholders who can donate K 1000 each into the fund which would accumulate into K1 billion.

This would then enable the innovative youth in different fields to tap resources from the fund and create opportunities.

The high rate of unemployment is a result of few employers. As such, the fund will help these innovative youth to become employers and employ fellow youth, said Jere.

Well wishing stakeholders are expected to make their donations through TNM Mpamba, Airtel Money and National Bank accounts.

In his remarks, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development, Joseph Mwandidya said the initiative was long overdue.

He said there are a lot of programs happening in his ministry targeting the youth, but said there was need to help them stand on their own.

There is a saying that you do not just feed people with fish but you have to teach them how to catch their own fish, this is exactly what we have done.

We have heard from them and now we are allowing them to do their own fundraising so that the very same money they fundraise can be used for their respective intended purposes, said Mwandidya.

National Youth Network Chair for Health, Population and Nutrition Sub- Committee, Maureen Phiri lamented that the youth have had challenges in accessing financial and other resources from various institutions.

So, it will be a great step for us to have our own coordinating body because we will easily be accessing funds and resources for the implementation of our projects and programmes at our youth clubs, she said.

Source: MANA Online