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About 92 percent of the youths that accessed loans from Government to start small businesses are failing to pay back the money, a Cabinet minister has said. Speaking at the launch of the Harare Youth Council fund-raising dinner on Thursday, Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Christopher Mushohwe said Government was concerned with the 92 percent repayment failure rate as it affected the revolving fund.

“As you may be aware, the ministry also runs a funding window for young people to set up their own projects. The Youth Development Fund has not been performing well, given the defaulting rate.

“Most of the recipients have not been able to repay the loans they accessed resulting in non-implementation of the revolving fund concept. My ministry’s vision is to assist the youths to embark on viable projects for income and employment generation,” he said.

Minister Mushohwe said training in relevant project skills should always precede project financing to ensure their viability.

He said the ministry was working on a model, which would bring positive outcomes, which benefited the youths and develop the economy while creating jobs. “The model comprises group funding for big projects in which resources and expertise are combined to establish and support viable projects in key economic sectors.

“The model seeks to provide a holistic approach to funding, which will further include training, capacity building and access to markets,” he said.

He said his ministry was implementing programmes to ensure that young people realised their full potential. Minister Mushohwe said the comprehensive National Youth Policy provided a coherent and long-term strategy designed to promote positive youth development.

Source : The Herald