HARARE - Young people in Zimbabwe have welcomed an $ 11 million Youth Development fund by financial services giant Old Mutual. The fund was availed as part of the organisation’s compliance with the country’s new indigenisation law.
With a chequered history of handling of such funds by the government, the Youth Forum has called for a transparent administration of the fund. “What is important now is for the fund to be administered and disbursed in a transparent non-partisan manner that will allow deserving beneficiaries access to the funds.
“It is also important that measures are taken to make sure the inaugural and subsequent beneficiaries pay back the money so that more youths will benefit as it becomes a recurring fund.”
The Youth Forum has urged that priority be given to young entrepreneurs.
“The beneficiaries of the fund must also efficiently and effectively use the fund and not abuse it so that more and more youths can continue to benefit from the noble initiative.”
Zimbabwean youth have faced enormous challenges in securing venture capital due to lack of collateral and credit history.
Youth Development, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment deputy Minister Tongai Matutu told Entrepreneurship Africa that they were awaiting more guidelines from Old Mutual, but hoped that they “will be youth friendly.”
On its part, the Youth Forum says it will train young people to be better entrepreneurs who will run profitable businesses to keep the fund revolving.
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