IT cannot be denied that the Zambian government today is in many ways engaged in the creation of long-term, decent and productive work for the youths as a top priority.
However, there are many impediments for our youths in engaging in productive activities such as the educational and training system that does not provide them with the skills required to land jobs.
The majority of youths in Zambia are therefore perceived as high-riskers due to their age and limited entrepreneurial experience.
Consequently the youths are finding it more and more difficult to access capital to start-up or grow their business.
This is because business development services are often lacking, hard to access, and not geared towards particular needs of young entrepreneurs who are often less informed about networks, markets, investment opportunities and sources of information than older players.
But even faced with such challenges, we think that our youths should strive to absorb themselves in activities that will help them to develop their lives for the better.
They should also try and use whatever opportunities that come their way in doing productive things which will transmute their lives.
It is poignant to note that most of our Zambian youths engross themselves in activities which cut off their lives in early stages.
They are either in excessive alcohol consumption, free and inconsiderate sex, drug trafficking, thieving and many other social depravities.
We are therefore in concert with the counsel that has been given to youths of Chirundu and Siavonga to shift their energy into productive activities and avoid themselves from engaging in those that will destroy their future.
The advice came from Medicines Transparency Alliance Zambia (META), a Chirundu local network in collaboration with the Zambia police child protection unit who took turns to counsel youths and parents from Salvation Army Church who camped at Syakalyabanyama Village of Chirundu district at the weekend.
Chirundu META Local network focal person Mr Ezekiel Munsaki told the youths to refrain from satisfying sexual desires by engaging in sex at a tender age.
Mr Munsaki instead encouraged the youths to shift their energy into productive activities to secure their future.
He also condemned parents who were in a habit of marrying off their children at a tender age and appealed to them to desist from such tendencies which also had detrimental health effects arising from early marriages.
Addressing the same gathering, Zambia police child protection unit coordinator woman constable Doreen Moonga also advised the congregants to report all forms of abuse to the police.
Ms Moonga regretted the increasing number of all forms of child abuse happening in schools, churches and communities in the district.
She explained that sexual abuse was not only having sex with a child but even touching of the genital parts.
She regretted that most parents in the district opted to resolving child abuse cases among themselves for fear of having the perpetrator arrested and the victim’s family to be deemed as heartless.
Not to be outdone, Chirundu Salvation Army Lieutenant Victor Mwinga expressed gratitude for the sensitization talk on sexual reproductive health and child protection against abuse.
Lt Mwinga hoped that the message would change many lives of the congregants, especially the youths
Noting that Zambia is a youthful country, with approximately 74 percent, it is uplifting to note that the Zambian government has delineated key priorities in its National Youth Policy, which includes measures to reduce youth unemployment and enhance the coordination of national youth programmes.
We think that is way forward to tackle these issues and boost employment, entrepreneurship as well as inclusive and sustainable industrial development for the youths.