LIVINGSTONE Member of Parliament Rodney Sikumba has bemoaned the low number of youths who applied for skills development scholarships under the 2022 Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Mr Sikumba who is also Tourism Minister said as area MP he was concerned and disturbed that despite Government creating opportunities for young people to excel through CDF, very few in Livingstone had applied to take up courses at the Livingstone Institute of Business and Engineering Studies (LIBES) and David Livingstone College of Education(DALICE).
He said vulnerable, but viable young people should align themselves with the vision and agenda of the New Dawn Government that wanted to enhance their capacity and create employment opportunities.
He implored parents and guardians to complement Government’s efforts by ensuring that youths in all the 20 wards of Livingstone applied for skills development scholarships under the 2023 CDF
He said time had come for young people to take up the challenge and attain skills that would help them to apply and implement various developmental projects under the CDF.
Mr Sikumba said this during the handover of grants under the 2022 CDF to 30 multi-purpose groups in Livingstone recently.
“I am a very disappointed MP to learn that very few of our youths applied for CDF scholarships under the skills development category. Skills that cannot get formal jobs are encouraged, so that youths can get a craft certificate that will help them have the skills and participate in CDF projects, thereby creating employment opportunities and reducing hunger at household level,” Mr Sikumba said.
He however commended the groups that benefited in the first disbursement of the 2022 CDF for utilising the funds in a more prudent and transparent manner.
He said he was impressed with the projects that the various cooperatives had embarked on and was positive that the projects would succeed.
Mr Sikumba said his office working together with the CDF committee would ensure that cooperatives that performed well were upgraded and assisted to get more funds from the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC).
CDF committee chairperson Christopher Siamwenya called on the beneficiaries not to misuse the funds provided by the Government.
Mr Siamwenya assured the beneficiaries that the committee would help find market for their projects.