AfCFTA holds potential to advance young people: VP Mohadi

Young people in Southern Africa have been implored to be architects of their own destiny and that of the continent by taking advantage of opportunities brought by African Union member states through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The call was made by Vice President Kembo Mohadi in a speech read on his behalf by Permanent Secretary in his office Dr Benson Dube at the official opening of the inaugural Southern Africa Youth Business Forum in Harare yesterday.

The meeting was focusing on the AfCFTA and comes at a time Government is pursuing Vision 2030 of an empowered upper-middle income society, which President Mnangagwa has said should now be achieved two years ahead of schedule.

“AfCFTA also holds great potential to accelerate Zimbabwe’s economy through increased trade which will result in increased opportunities, jobs, income, foreign currency and economic growth,” said VP Mohadi.

“I, therefore, urge all young people in the Southern Africa region to be architects of their own destiny and that of the continent at large by taking advantage of this opportunity being brought by the African Union member states through the AfCFTA.

“Zimbabwe in the Second Republic under the visionary leadership of His Excellency President Dr. E.D Mnangagwa has been on the forefront of promoting economic diplomacy in the region and the world at large through the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra. It is bearing fruit. It has attracted a number of regional and global investments, and economic partnerships in the country. However, many in business are not aware of this agreement and are failing to exploit its potential. Therefore, this meeting will go a long way in amplifying the benefits of the agreement.

“Zimbabwe has always been on the forefront of supporting young people particularly those in business both at national and regional level and the African Continental Free Trade Area recognises youth as a key player and target beneficiary.”

VP Mohadi said Government had a number of policies and frameworks that enabled young business owners to tap into the opportunities being brought about by the AfCFTA.

He said the national trade agency, ZimTrade, had also come up with a number of initiatives to assist and build the capacity of young entrepreneurs who want to participate in trade and export. One such initiative is the Eagles’ Nest programme — their flagship youth programme that has given birth to a number of young exporters.

The meeting was also attended by Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province Charles Tawengwa and Mashonaland West Mariam Chombo, representatives of the European Union and representatives of other countries from the SADC region.

Board Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Youth Chamber of Commerce Mr Tinashe Ngirandi commended Government for creating opportunities for youth to grow their businesses.

Director in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Richard Mahomva said, “the participation of the youth in these key sectors of the economy continue to create alternative streams of capital in the fight against sanctions.

“The Second Republic was thanked for creating an environment that has made youth actively engaged in politics across the partisan institutional and ideological divide. To this end, there is an increase in youthful members of Cabinet. Women continue to occupy spaces of influence in decision making platforms.”

Herald

Positive Eye News

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