Dr lubinda haabazoka

The Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) has launched a national initiative aimed at promoting the empowerment of youths and women.

The initiative dubbed Economics Association of Zambia National Economic Empowerment Initiative would use crowdfunding to pool a wealth of ideas, skills and financial resources for various businesses across the country, with a key focus on the agriculture sector.

“This year, the Association had planned to host the Diaspora Women Economic Empowerment Summit in Kitwe, Diaspora Youth Empowerment Summit in Lusaka and the Diaspora investment conference in Livingstone but the COVID-19 pandemic led to postponement of the events. COVID-19 has amplified economic woes because of disruption in supply chains, business pulse and upsets in employment across various sectors. This has clearly threatened attainment of Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs which has prompted EAZ to step in with interventions that will seek to cushion youths and women from economic hardships,” EAZ national secretary Mutisunge Zulu stated in a statement.

“It is against this background that EAZ has championed a program that would promote empowering youths and women, and as such has decided to launch the Economics Association of Zambia National Economic Empowerment Initiative. This will aim at using crowdfunding to pool a wealth of ideas, skills and financial resources that will be used to partner and formulate various businesses across the country with the sole purpose of creating wealth and employment predominantly in the agriculture sector. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from many people. It is based on three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea or project to be funded, individuals or groups who support the idea, and a moderating organization (the ‘platform’) that brings the parties together to launch the idea. In this case, EAZ will act as the platform that actualises the idea.”

He stated that EAZ is currently engaging both state and non-state actors to ensure the initiative is a success.

Some of the institutions and government ministries being engaged include the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI), Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ), Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU), Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ), ministries responsible for Youth, Community Development, Chiefs, Livestock, Agriculture, Commerce and Information.

“The Association is open to working with organisations and institutions that wish to be a part of this noble cause. This initiative is politically neutral and as such is open to all Zambians irrespective of affiliation. The focus will be on harnessing and funding business ideas for both the rural and urban population facets,” Mr Zulu stated.

EAZ extends an invitation to youth and women groups including various market participants to join in to ensure this program actualises. The Association intends to collaborate with youths across the country in organizing a youth entrepreneurship event whose main aim will be to collate all key stakeholders that will deliberate on this empowerment initiative whose success will assist eradicate poverty and promote economic participation of citizens.”

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