Kudos to AfDB, Zimbabwe for WMB

Zimbabwe Women Micro-Finance Bank

Stephen Mpofu

Societal structures in Africa are generally faulty with women and youth who boast superior statistics population wise, often shoved in the shade when it comes to issues of politics and development.

This is because geriatric politicians ensconced in strategic positions of power, even when they are not super agers, do not wish to be upstaged by younger people in particular as most of them regard their leadership as a pronoun of chieftainship from which only death can dethrone them.

No wonder then that pronouncements at political rallies and other public occasions to the effect that “youths are the country’s future leaders” die with the dispersal of the gatherings.

However, a bright ray of hope has been ignited by bold measures being taken by the African Development Bank and by our own country to empower both youth and women and with that create opportunities for employment and economic and social development for indigenous peoples.

When Zimbabweans were under the eye of those without knees their impoverishment helped keep the blacks in total subjugation using racism as a tool with which to butcher any rising voices by blacks pronouncing their rights in society.

A story published in this newspaper two days ago reported that the African Development Bank would make available $1,5 billion annually for the next 10 years in support of young agriculture entrepreneurs on the continent.

In a statement commemorating International Youth Day last Sunday, the AfDB said the financial support was part of efforts to make agriculture more attractive to young people.

The African financial institution has since 2016 invested over $800 million in support of young entrepreneurs in agriculture in more than 15 countries.

The financial boost should reverse a tragic bromide that has seen many young people,  including those in this country who fought colonial regimes to reclaim their Godly endowment, land,  fleeing from that asset to urban areas to render their slave labour in industries set up by whites in urban centres where some serve as domestic workers instead of growing food, the richest commodity around the globe.

The AfDB should play a significant role in giving African youth and everybody else a renaissance to end joblessness and poverty in countries benefiting from its humane financial posture.

Similarly, the Zimbabwe Women Micro-Finance Bank should empower women and youth by lending them much-needed loans to start various projects for the beneficiaries and escape from poverty.

In particular, women have not benefited from loans provided by older banks to make their mark in agriculture as have men, some of whom own multiple farms some of which the government of the day should consider repossessing for redistribution to landless Zimbabweans.

In fact, the devolution of power that the present government in this country is set to introduce should go a long way in also empowering youth through agriculture so that a situation whereby young people flock from rural areas in our country, or jump borders to seek employment for measly wages in neighbouring states, where they are treated more like slaves, will end.

Agriculture — and this includes livestock and cropping — sustained people on the African continent for hundreds of years before colonisation lured the able bodies to the bright lights of newly established urban centres.

There is therefore no reason why devolution spoken about by the current government should also not create industries and banks at growth points, the development zones in rural areas, to provide jobs and other services for dwellers in what the white invaders of our country called the “periphery”.

And come to think of it, the vast expanses of land in Zimbabwe and elsewhere on the African continent has pulsating in its bell immeasurable wealth in various kinds of minerals the exploitation of which should make African states transcend their often debilitating poverty and stop dependence on tied aid from their erstwhile foreign rulers.

From a religious perspective, devolution, the ZWMB as well as the AfDB go a long way in anchoring the Global Business Round Table, a fund for Jesus Christ set up by religious bodies around the globe to help under privileged people in countries with poor societal structures.

In fact, this communicologist believes that beneficiaries of the financial support initiative will not be wrong if persuaded by a belief that the help strongly resonates with the declaration in Psalms 23: “The Lord is my shepard; I shall not lack”, or “shall not want”, as other versions of the Holy Bible say.

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