Government has said the future of theYouth Enterprise Development Fund (Yedef) hangs in the balance as many of the youths who got loans from the fund have defaulted from paying back the loans.
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Grace Chiuma told Afriem that monetory loans are no longer accessible from the fund.
“At the moment we have no money to loan out because those who borrowed from the fund have not yet paid back, most of them ran away,” she said.
She added that at the moment the fund only has equipment to loan out.
“There are tailoring, brick layering equipment and many others, so those who are ready can come and get them on loan,” she added.
Some months back Minister of Finance, Economic and Planning Goodall Gondwe said Government would resurface the
Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDEF) to reduce unemployment levels among young people in the country.
According to Goodall Gondwe, government is aware of the plight of youths and that currently it is holding discussions with its stakeholders to come up with programmes that can ably promote and improve the
lives of young people who are majority in the country.
Gondwe reiterated government’s commitment towards empowering young people in terms of capacity building in businesses, education and provision of capital for small enterprises which would help them to sustain their daily living.
“We are going to resurface YEDEF and combine it with MARDEF to train and equip young people in order to sustain them improving their living standards.
“It is displeasing to note that there are some areas where people are starving so hard to support their families. We want to minimize these challenges to that human development should improve,” Gondwe said.
He further said that the government would increase employment by creating more jobs.
“With respect to employment government realizes that opportunity to employment is a right for all productive age groups. It is for this reason that government is striving to
provide employment to all its citizens empowers them economically so as to be able to build people’s capacity to deal with shocks and reduce vulnerabilities.
“It is in this view that government has designated the labor sector as one of the priorit5y sectors in order to address the issue of unemplo5ymebnt,” he said.
Gondwe added that YEDEF program will be run according to regions and that government will reshuffle personnel working at YEDEF for efficiency.
“We will reshuffle the personnel working at YEDEF because they mismanaged resources. They did not utilize the finances for the intended purpose,” said Gondwe.