Section 20 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution is paramount to the discussion around the engagement, involvement and participation of young people in the economic governance of the country. According to section 20(1)(b), “The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take reasonable measures, including affirmative action programs, to ensure that youths have opportunities to be represented and participate in political, social, economic and other spheres of life.”
The youth are therefore recognized as an important group and are accorded relevance to this end. Out of a ZWL 426.1 billion budget for 2021, the ministry only allocated ZWL 3.447 billion (0.8%) towards youth empowerment. It is, however, not clear as to how much capital will go towards the Empower Bank and the National Venture Fund and how the funds are going to be disbursed to the youth.
Youths had the following issues they wanted addressed and included in the national budget:
- A Youth Empowerment Fund that benefits the youth on equal terms.
- Funds that promote youth entrepreneurship by focusing on capacity building on entrepreneurship.
- Equal access to credit opportunities without barriers.
- Development of job creation strategies for the youth, particularly for young women, young people with disabilities and young people living in rural areas.
- Regulation of the informal economy to prevent unfair labour practices and exploitation of youth.
- Facilitation of greater linkages between the labour market and youth enterprises.
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Source: Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development