USAID injects millions to support youth entrepreneurs

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By Thandiwe Garusa  

THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has injected US$5 million to help fight social, political and economic challenges faced by youths in Zimbabwe.

USAID, in partnership with Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT),  Youth Advisory Board, and youth-led committees, are working to support young people build their skills and improve the business enabling environment.

Speaking to journalists Wednesday in Harare, coordinator for USAID’s Local Works Zimbabwe Youth Program, Bigbouy Chikwavarara, told the program seeks to support youth entrepreneurship development.

“Through the Local Works Zimbabwe Program, USAID supports young entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses to generate jobs and incomes in both the formal and informal sectors of the Zimbabwean economy.

“This is a US$5 million project which will seek to support youth so that they can start and grow their enterprises.

“We really believe that this is necessary at this point in time and we know that USAID alone cannot do it , so we are believing that collaboration action is the way to go,” said Chikwavarara.

“We know that a lot of young people have great ideas, energy and they are innovative, but what is lacking is the support, so this is where the USAID is coming to provide that support  and we believe that there are untapped business ideas and these can be the next generation of solutions that can solve the various challenges we are facing here in Zimbabwe.”

YETT director, Rosewita Katsande, added, “What is key for us is to be able to get ideas from young people in terms of what needs to be done and then be able to support them. We are very much interested in identifying locally, sustainable youth led solutions that can then be implemented.”

Reports have indicated that the country’s unemployment rate now stands above 85%.