The government in Zambia is passing control of 800 solar-powered milling plants to youth co-operatives in the country.
The move is an attempt to empower young people in Zambia and give them a vocation.
North-Western Province Minister Dawson Kafwaya announced the plan in an address to teachers in Solwezi. He was asked what the government was doing to improve the employment situation for school-leavers. Recently, entrepreneurship has been introduced on to the school curriculum to help students become more self-reliant.
Mr Kafwaya said that the government wants to promote human welfare and enable individuals to contribute positively to the socio-economic development of Zambia.
Last year, a government initiative saw the country procure 2000 milling plants from China as part of a $200m project to address the price of grain and flour in Zambia. Around 3000 local people will be employed to install the equipment.
The Shandong Dejian Group Company is handling the procurement and installation, and said that Zambians would be heavily involved in getting the plants up and running.
“Our idea is to engage a lot of Zambians at every stage so that when we hand over the plants to the government through the Zambia Cooperative Federation, locals have the gist of the equipment and how to run it efficiently,” said Huang Meng, the company general manager.
In addition to a cheaper supply of grains, it is hoped that their introduction will ignite development in rural areas of the country, as well as industries to provide services towards maintenance of the equipment.
All 2000 plants are expected to be operational by June.