Vice President Kembo Mohadi has urged corporate organisations to harness the innovative spirit of young people in addressing the challenges facing the country through provision of practical skills and mentorship.

Officially opening the Young Achievers Expo at Takashinga Sports Club in Highfield yeesterday, Vice President Mohadi said youths are a critical partner in the country’s development trajectory.

“The government is excited when young people display positive and progressive attitudes towards the development of our beloved country. The event provides us with a platform in which the old and young can decisively engage the future. I like the fact that young people are not sitting around and waiting for the government or donors but are fully engaged and aware of their needs and know exactly how they must be addressed,” he said.

The Vice President added that the government will continue to engage and support young people to grow their enterprises in order for them to eventually contribute meaningfully to the gross domestic product.

He reiterated that the second republic is placing emphasis on peace and dialogue and the government is forging ahead with legislation to ensure that youths are empowered.

Entrepreneurship is a critical component of the new curriculum and Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Professor Paul Mavima commended the initiative which aims to bring young people and industry together.

“The uniqueness of this event is that it brings young people on the same level with industry and it’s not the traditional career guidance. Vision 2030 aspires to take Zimbabwe to an upper middle income status in 11 years’ time. One of the pillars that will make this possible is the creation of a national entrepreneurial class that is sufficiently innovative to render practical solutions to the challenges we face in all sectors of our economy,’ said Professor Mavima.

One of the founding members of the Young Achievers Expo, who is running a thriving business, Mr Marvellous Chadyiwa told the youngsters that they are key drivers of change and they should aim high.

“I got into business when I was in my early 20s. I started off with a small company but now we are running an international organisation which is employing a number of people. So don’t be afraid to venture into business, it just takes determination and the will power to succeed,” said Mr Chadyiwa.

After the official opening, a representative from Colga farm, which is owned by the Karimanzira family, signed an agreement with Mr Chadyiwa.

The agreement will see a group of young people being supported with modern agricultural equipment and inputs for all year production and will be placed under the mentorship of agronomists and business managers as they sharpen their skills on the pilot programme.

Several young entrepreneurs who are affiliated to the Young Achievers Expo pledged to support young people with scholarships while others offered to mentor selected youngsters.

The expo which is running for three days is aimed at placing youngsters under the mentorship of seasoned business people so that they can pioneer the economic transformation of the country.