Zimbabwean youth-based groups have called on government to establish a non-partisan national programme aimed at supporting informal sector enterprises led by youths.
In a statement, the National Association of Youth Organisations in Africa (NAYO) urged government to avail various forms of packages that allow the youth-based enterprises to operate after the partial lifting of the country’s lockdown measures.
NAYO is an umbrella body of youth organisations in the country.
The group said programmes created by government during the tough period should benefit every youth regardless of political affiliation.
“Government should establish a non-partisan national programme to support informal sector enterprises led by youths with bailouts of various forms of packages that allow for these enterprises to operate following the lifting of the lockdown and support workers under such enterprises,” said NAYO.
According to the organisation, the country’s population comprises 67 percent youths the majority of whom are not formally employed.
NAYO urged government to work towards solidifying the future of the youths after the lockdown by supporting their initiatives.
It also urged the government to make sure that youths lived decent lives and their rights were not infringed during the lockdown period.
Although efforts were being put in place to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic by government, the group said, there was more to be done in terms of prevention, containment and treatment.
“Government should set up a social protection programme manned by the youth ministry that ensures that youths have access to food, shelter and access to basic health services.
“Government should ensure youths live decent lives and their rights are not infringed during the lockdown,” said NAYO.
The youth organisation’s vision is to see a repositioned, redefined and enhanced role of youths in communities and the country at large.