PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema and his Malawian counterpart Lazarous Chakwera yesterday commissioned the Mchinji-Mwami one-stop border post with a call to police officers to reduce the number of road blocks to allow for the ease movement of goods.
Speaking at the event President Hichilema said if the border post reduced the time to clear traffic, there was a problem on the Zambian side because they were a lot of road blocks.
“Our ministers of Home Affairs from both countries must act and stop the road blocks and at the same time ensure security. We have a problem of too many road blocks on the Zambian side,” he said.
He said although security was important it could be provided without too many road blocks and that there should not be human or drug trafficking.
He also said that there should not be talk of which Government started projects but what mattered was the benefits to the people.
President Hichilema said the one-stop border post was important for the growth of economies in Zambia and Malawi.
He said the idea was not only to case movements of goods between Zambia and Malawi but beyond that including Zimbabwe, Tanzania and others.
Mr Hichilema said the facility should move with technology where trucks could be screened in a quick manner and the collaboration between the two governments should be extended to other border areas and other sectors such as agriculture and green energy.
The president added that the money on the projected could be recouped in two to three years as opposed to seven years if traffic flow was increased.
Meanwhile, the Government is putting up measures that will unlock the potential for the youth to counter challenges that they have been facing, Mr Hichilema has said.
He said this in Lusaka yesterday at the launch of phase one of the “Unleashing scalable solutions for youth empowerment and employment.
Mr Hichilema said Zambian youths faced challenges such as high unemployment levels, inadequate entrepreneurial skills, and limited access to skills training and to finance.
President Hichilema said in a speech read for him by Youth and Sports Minister Elvis Nkandu that according to the 2010 census, 82 per cent of the Zambian population was below the age of 35.
He said out of those, the youth who were aged between 15 and 35 made up 36.7 per cent of the population.
President Hichilema said the Government would implement various programmes in phases such as internship, apprenticeship and volunteer programme with a focus on identifying the specific needs and specialisation that different institutions will require.
President Hichilema the programme would target youth who school-leavers were including those who may not have been to school, graduates from colleges, skills training centres and universities.
Mr Hichilema said the overall objective of the programme was to enhance the employability of young Zambians and amplify the impact of their work and inspire civic innovation, volunteerism and promote a culture of sustained, citizen- responsive leadership.
He said in the first Government through the ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts would recruit interns, apprentices and volunteers across the country and the initial target was 2,000 youth.
He said that would also establish Youth Connect and Innovation hubs in existing youth resource centres and the hubs would have information on various developmental.