From National Assembly Debates for Wednesday 15th March 2017
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA):
The ZimCHEER Herald is a publication that outlines the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment initiatives to identify, acknowledge and celebrate Zimbabwe young entrepreneurs who are innovatively, enterprisingly and resiliently contributing to Zimbabwe’s sustainable socio-economic transformation and development.
The ZimCHEER initiative is motivated by His Excellency, President R.G. Mugabe’s clarion call in 1986, that youth must play an equally crucial vanguard role in the struggle for economic power by solving the remaining contradictions of economic independence in the same way that youth played a crucial vanguard role in the struggle for political independence by solving the then contradictions of political power. His Excellency consistently directed that our political independence must lead us to economic independence.
Pursuant to this, the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Development will be celebrating Zimbabwe’s champions and heroes of the economic empowerment revolution. During the last quarter of 2016, the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, through all of its youth officers spread across all the country’s wards, districts and provinces, has identified 39, 385 young entrepreneurs who have created a total of 93, 692 jobs.
The ZimCHEER initiative is consistent with His Excellency, President R. G. Mugabe’s statement during the 21st February Movement Celebrations in 2016 that “Our development thrust as a nation recognises that youth constitutes, not only the majority of our economically active population but also forms a critical productive force in our country. Our first commitment is to empower the youth so that they become creators of employment and that we can accommodate them in various sectors of the economy. This will be done by allocating given percentages of operations in the economic sectors, including land. In line with ZIM ASSET, our vast natural resources will be effectively exploited as we add value to them with effective participation of the youth, thus creating a more employment for them”.
Volume 1, Issue 1 of the ZimCHEER Herald published in the first quarter of 2017, celebrates His Excellency President R. G. Mugabe’s legacy of nurturing young economic champions and heroes in the new frontier of the economic empowerment revolution in order to harness the youth demographic dividend. Consistent with Government’s superlative record of investing in Zimbabwe’s young people, Zimbabwe is poised to harness a demographic dividend so as to further the country’s economic transformation and growth within the ZIM ASSET Framework.
The ZimCHEER initiative is part of the measures designed to integrate young people within the country’s developmental agenda. To that end, the Zimbabwe Youth Council has also established four anchor companies to allow young people to contribute to the four clusters of ZIM ASSET. These include:
Youth Feed Zimbabwe;
Youth Shape Zimbabwe;
Youth Make Zimbabwe; and
Youth Employ Zimbabwe.
Furthermore, the Government will facilitate the establishment of Empower Bank as an Innovative Micro-Level Financial and Merchant Banking Services Institution.
The Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment is implementing the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment Strategy for Investment’s Youth Empowerment Model which consists of three components. The ZimCHEER initiative is the first component that identifies and celebrates young innovative, enterprising and resilient young people, upgrades the young entrepreneurs vocational training, entrepreneurial and technical skills of our Vocational Training Centres and National Youth Service sites, facilitates coaching, mentorship and incubation, and assists them in protecting their ideas and innovations. The Youth Empowerment Model’s second component provides aggregated support services through four business eco-systems anchor companies in accordance with the four clusters of the ZIM ASSET namely; Youth Feed Zimbabwe, Youth Make Zimbabwe, Youth Shape Zimbabwe and Youth Employ Zimbabwe.
The third component of the Youth Empowerment Model facilitates for youth financial inclusion by encompassing financial advisory and support services and Micro-finance through Empower Bank.
Zimbabwe’s young entrepreneurs have displayed a tremendous amount of innovation, enterprise and resilience. We do have a very good story to tell. Our young entrepreneurs are Zimbabwe’s Champions and Heroes of the Economic Empowerment Revolution. They are our very own ZimCHEER. The very first edition of the ZimCHEER Herald profiles only 20 of the 39 385 young entrepreneurs identified throughout the country.
The Hon. Deputy Minister Tongofa holding the Volume 1 of the ZimCHEER Herald Book.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this is the Volume 1 of the ZimCHEER Herald which we are launching and we will give each Hon. Member to go through it. We used our own youth officers to gather information about young people who are in each constituency and we have got 39 385 young people who are engaged in business activities. These are the young people and 20 of them are in this Herald. These are the young people who will be capacitated with the money from the Empower Bank.
So, each constituency should have its own young people who are already engaged in business and this is the first edition of the ZimCHEER Herald. Because we have been witnessing non-performing loans from young people, because they were receiving loans without proper training when they were not doing anything and most of them were not using the money for the business purposes, but some of them were diverting the money for other things other than the business issues. We have decided to gather data from the various constituencies of the young people who are already doing something and these are some of the young people who are doing something in their constituencies. We are also saying these are the people who deserve to be capacitated and to be given the money from our Empower Bank when we start operating. I thank you.