By MOFFAT CHAZINGWA –
A PRIVATE entrepreneurship development consultant has called on young people graduating from various institutions of learning to go for self-employment as a career option in view of the scarcity of jobs in Zambia.
Windu Matoka, who is a part-time entrepreneurship lecturer at the University of Lusaka, said there was need to accept the reality of job scarcity in the formal sector.
Mr Matoka said this in Mufulira when he gave a career presentation at a Career Fair held at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) Mufulira Secondary School at the weekend.
The Career Fair held under the theme ‘My career my passion’ was organised by MCM and had career presentations in various fields, including journalism, law, engineering, mining and entrepreneurship, among others.
Mr Matoka said it was a fact that formal employment opportunities had kept dwindling whereas the number of youths seeking jobs was increasing.
Statistics show that each year, more than 300,000 young people are being offloaded on the labour market.
“So the only alternative is graduates from various levels of education are encouraged to take self-employment as a career option, and when you talk about self-employment as a career option, the fundamental thing that needs to be inculcated in the minds of the young people is the issue of entrepreneurship,” Mr Matoka said.
He said there was need to encourage young people to embrace concepts of entrepreneurship.
Mr Matoka said countries such as China and others in the Middle East had emerged as economic strongholds because of embracing entrepreneurship.
“Even as a country, we can fight the high unemployment levels if we begin to embrace very seriously issues of entrepreneurship. So there is need to encourage youths not to look at white-collar jobs as the only employment,” he said.
Mr Matoka was, however, pleased with what he termed as a complete shift towards promoting entrepreneurship in the current school curriculum in the country.
Previously, the school curriculum did not embrace issues of entrepreneurship but this has now changed as seen from the way secondary schools, colleges and universities have come up with entrepreneurship-related subjects.
“The good thing is that there is a lot of political will from Government to ensure that entrepreneurship is embraced in the school curriculum,” he said.
MCM chief operating officer Chris Vermeulen said the mining company attached importance to education as it was a catalyst for future development.
“Education plays a critical role in shaping the country’s economy and it is for this reason that MCM would always endeavour to supplement the Government’s efforts in its quest to provide good quality education,” Mr Vermeulen said.