This was said by the Danish Minister of Trade and Development Cooperation, Honourable Mogen Jensen yesterday as he gave closing remarks after touring an ILO “Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development” project at the Glenview Complex under Highfield District in Harare Province. The complex, a thriving furniture making economy houses some of the project beneficiaries, who were trained and attached to master crafts-persons. Some are running their own businesses whereas others are working with master crafts-persons. During the tour, the Danish Minister was accompanied by a delegation of the Danida Grants Committee, Danish media and Zimbabwe’s tripartite partners.Young people have gained skills which give them hope for the future
The Minister acknowledged the good work being done under the project and indicated that it gives hope for the youths, and youths without skills are often left behind in development. He pointed out that the project was unique due to the active involvement by the government, employers and trade unions in the coordination and implementation structures of the project. He noted that this cooperation builds society and is “a recipe for success”. The Danish Minister hailed the project as a good model, and hoped that it would be replicated and be a mirror for future programmes to eradicate youth unemployment and poverty in Zimbabwe.
Ms Hopolang Phororo, the Acting Director of the ILO Country Office, thanking the Government of Denmark for the generous support enumerated the various successes under the “Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development” programme, which has reached out to 10,000 beneficiaries that include 2,385 master craft-persons, 7,644 young women and men, with 4,977 and 2,667 coming from the rural and urban areas, respectively. The average monthly income of all the beneficiaries stands at UD$250 per person.
Speaking at the same event, the Executive Director of the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe, Mr John Mufukare was so impressed with the achievements of the project at the Glenview Complex that he viewed it as a proverbial economic fire capable of consuming whole forests of unemployment, poverty and deprivation.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Secretary General, Mr Japhet Moyo expressed his appreciation of the project’s contribution towards youth empowerment and how this has cascaded to whole families thus alleviating poverty.
Commenting at the same occasion, Mrs Nyaradzo Beverly Tagarira, the District Administrator for Highfield, whilst acknowledging that 658 youths from her jurisdiction had benefited from the project, appealed that more funds be sourced to expand the project to other needy young men and women.