The rebranded National Youth Games must ignite the wave to turn sport into a multi-million dollar industry, the Minister of Sports and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane has said.

Zimbabwe has a lot to learn from other countries like Cuba, Kenya and Ethiopia which have made significant strides in reducing the levels of poverty through outstanding performances at various international sporting competitions.

Minister Hlongwane said the rebranded National Youth Games are a platform that can spin the sports industry to create employment and reduce poverty therefore fulfilling the demands of the economic blue print ZIM ASSET.

“One of the key issues that ZIM ASSET advocates for is employment creation and to this end i would like to implore you to take up sport seriously. There is no doubt that sport can reduce poverty and other challenges that we face as a society,” he said.

Apart from the concerns of cheating, drug and substance abuse by schools and clubs, the Sports and Recreation Ministry also faces the challenge of inadequate funding as it was only allocated US$1.5 million from the fiscus despite the potential revenue the sector can generate for the country.