ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
BARCLAYS Bank Zambia has provided financial support of over K2 million to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and ChildFund Zambia to enable the two firms empower over 8,500 youths with employment and enterprise skills.
The bank has provided funding of about K1.28 million to ChildFund to enable the organisation help 7,900 youths while K772,000 has been given to ZDA to help 450 youths.
Barclays managing director Mizinga Melu said the programme aims at assisting youths secure employment to start their own businesses.
Speaking during the the handover ceremony yesterday, Ms Melu said joint growth, which is based on the concept of creating shared value, thereby, resulting in inclusive growth and prosperity, is key in economic development.
“Shared growth is a critical part of the way in which we as a bank operate and through which we want to deliver value for all stakeholders. The main purpose is to complement efforts to address societal challenges faced by the youth such as unemployment and limited business opportunities,” she said.
Ms Melu said the partnership emphasises the connections between societies and economic progress, showing that they are mutually dependent and when unleashed can stimulate growth.
And ZDA director general Patrick Chisanga said the agency will continue supplementing Government’s efforts to ensure that more youths are equipped with various trade skills to sustain their livelihoods.
Mr Chisanga said the funding will help ZDA build capacities for small and medium enterprises to grow emergent businesses and further help drive economic growth in the country.
Earlier, ChildFund Zambia national director Dereje Adugna said the firm works with local partner organisations, Government, corporations and individuals to help create safe environments for the local populace to thrive.