Action Aid Zambia has called on youths to critically analyse the national budget and effectively contribute to issues surrounding it.
Speaking at the Youth Focused Pre-2019 budget Talk held at Global Platform Zambia, Action Aid Youth Coordinator Prisca Sikana said, “social media is a powerful tool that youths can use to communicate important issues to the government.”
Sikana said that the national budget affects everything that people buy and as such it is very important for youths to familiarise themselves with economic matters considering that Zambia is mainly comprised of a young population.
And Youth Budget Trailers (YBT) Coordinator, Mulenga Tembo, has appealed to the youths in the country to take up training being done by the organisation voluntarily.
Mr. Tembo said most youths do not have adequate knowledge on the issue as the Organization has trained a few youths in Budgeting and Human Rights Based Approach to Budget tracking.
Mr. Tembo futher encouraged people with knowledge on the budgeting process to offer more insights to youths so that they can track the budget and find out how the government plans and tends to utilize resources made available.
Meanwhile, Consumer Unity Trust Society (CUTS) Coordinator Chenai Mukumba said that people need to have a sense of ownership of the National Budget because the money that government spends to implement policies is their money as most of it is consumer money.
Mukumba further explained that money collected from tax is used to supplement what government already has to support the activities that it has planned out for a particular year as Zambians are equally contributing to the money that government spends to offer services.
However, Florence Muleya from Zambia Institute of Policy Analysis and Research encouraged youths to keep in mind the need to express their view in factual terms as government will only spend on policies that are deemed important for society.
She further encouraged young people to motivate their ideas more in order for government to pick them up as best as it can with the resources at its disposal.
Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) Programme Coordinator Edward Musosa, expressed gratitude to the youths who attended the meeting and the volunteers from Demark and Sweden who came to witness how Zambian youths relate to issues surrounding their National budget.
The National Budget for the 2019 fiscal year was presented on Firday, 28 2018.