Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) has advised government to assess the viability of youth-led initiatives and cooperatives before disbursing resources in order to avoid late recovery of empowerment funds.
In an interview with Lusaka Star, ZCSD Executive Director Leah Mitaba said there is need to prioritise small and medium scale enterprises with viable initiatives when disbursing youth empowerment funds.
Government must invest in a better targeting process so that people that are viable and have winning strategies receive these funds,
Mitaba further said giving out empowerment funds to politically affiliated members will result in delayed recovery of the loans and delays cooperatives that would want to benefit from these loans.
If we are going to target only cadres and any other affiliated political party members, this will add to the delay in the repayment of the loans,
She further added that ZCSD supports government’s decision to recover empowerment loans from artistes as paying back loans given to them will foster social and economic development.
As a civil society organisation, we support government’s pronouncement to recover the loans,
Something needs to be done to assess how people can access the funds, whether the proposed businesses are running and if the same business can actually pay back.
ZCSD Executive Director Leah Mitaba was reacting to the pronouncement made by Ministry of Youth, Sport and art Permanent Secretary Kangwa Chileshe that government will recover empowerment funds that were given to artistes under the K30 million Presidential Arts Empowerment Scheme in 2020.