The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Local Works Zimbabwe Youth Program, a US$5 million economic empowerment initiative.
This youth-led initiative is premised at creating economic opportunities to address issues such as youth unemployment, and rising poverty by increasing incomes.
Speaking at the Local Works Zimbabwe Stakeholder Meeting held on October 7, USAID/Zimbabwe Mission Director Art Brown said:
USAID would like young people to take the driver’s seat. Our approach under the Local Works program is slightly different from the traditional method of development program design and implementation.
We want you as young people to take the lead in defining and addressing the diverse challenges you face so that we support you to meet your social and economic needs.
Through the Local Works Zimbabwe, USAID will facilitate the creation of a collaborative action network of local actors, promote multi-stakeholder dialogue, generate cross-sectoral partnerships, and discover sustainable collaborative solutions to the most pressing challenges identified by Zimbabwean youth.
USAID will also support young Zimbabweans, along with other local actors – communities, youth networks, organizations, private sector, and others – to set their own development agenda, develop solutions, and ultimately, make those solutions a reality.
The agency aims to facilitate the design of the Local Works Zimbabwe Youth Program and support the establishment of a Youth Advisory Board, which will oversee the design and implementation of this initiative.
USAID also intends to engage the private sector, including identifying opportunities for co-design and co-financing of activities, all while promoting innovation and increased economic opportunities for the youth.
Zimbabwean youths, like women and people with disabilities, remain more vulnerable to the bumps of life mainly because they do not own means of production.
More: Health Times