YOUTH ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT STRATEGY TO BUILD ENTREPRENEURS
By: Mhlengi Mafu
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism in Kwa-Zulu Natal launched its first Youth Economic Empowerment Strategy at the Durban International Convention Centre on Friday.
The strategy seeks to build young entrepreneurs in the province, and give them the knowledge they require to be better entrepreneurs.
Many entrepreneurs in the province, including private sectors and government sectors, gathered at the ICC to witness the launch of this strategy. One of the goals of this strategy is to inculcate the entrepreneurship culture among the youth and develop viable and sustainable youth enterprises in the province.
There are five top programmatic interventions which have been identified as priority programmes in this strategy. MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu touched on one of the interventions; the Green Army which focuses on renewable energy, environmental projects and infrastructure programs.
The strategic pillar of this intervention is employment creation and there are key stake holders which are involved such as the Department of Environmental Affairs, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and other stakeholders.
The expected activities are training of the youth on renewable energy and environmental affairs. Mabuyakhulu encouraged entrepreneurs to work hard and sustain the province.
The Premier of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Dr Zweli Mkhize mentioned that the youth of today should learn from Nelson Mandela and his character.
“Young people should learn from Mandela and adopt his spirit of volunteering in their communities. This generation is being prepared to take over. We don’t believe in loss generation, future leaders will take this country to a higher generation,” added Mkhize.
He further requested that all stake holders empower the youth and help young entrepreneurs so that the strategy works.
Companies present at the event like the Ithala Development Corporation, presented on how they are willing to help young entrepreneurs.
“Our mission is to facilitate job creation and Black Economic Empowerment by providing financial support and services,” said Senior Account Manager Bongumusa Biyela.
Other stakeholders partnered with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism include Transnet and Eskom.
Sphiwe Moyo, who attended the event said, “I am very happy with what the government has done even I as an entrepreneur I have learned a lot today.”
President of the organisation Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), Sethu Sidzamba, said, “Let the terms be defined let us focus on the grass root level and developing entrepreneurs within the grass root level. If they are empowered, the strategy can go far.”