The Eagles Nest Youth Summit, UK & US Zambians give voice to Zambian Youth through an online competition.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, His Excellency Mr Emmanuel Mwamba says Zambia has a cadre of young and inventive entrepreneurs who are ready to take Zambia to greater heights but are lacking capital and mentorship.
Speaking when he addressed the First Zambia virtual youth Summit organised by the Anakazi Center for Women, Ambassador Mwamba said Zambians have the power to create the Zambia of their own dreams if they strengthen homegrown entrepreneurs and involve young people.
He said Government alone cannot manage to provide jobs to all its citizens but with a good entrepreneurial base in place, unemployment can be a thing of the past so long as youth entrepreneurship is promoted. “No foreign country can develop our country. We have to develop it ourselves. So, we must take an inclusive approach where we involve everyone else especially young people. We need to invest in young people because we recognise that there are few job opportunities and therefore, we need to give life skills to young people that they can employ themselves and employ others” he said. And Ambassador Mwamba had a special word for young girls “We need to pay special attention to the girls so that they are not left behind in the developmental agenda of Zambia. We need more young and innovative entrepreneurial ladies who are going to transform Zambia.”
He also said that it was important for young people to be involved in decision making. “We cannot decide what young people want. We need to understand that they can help make the decisions. We need to bring them to all the tables, whether it's at government level, at company level and what group level in everything that we do.” The inaugural virtual event labelled; The eagle’s nest Summit – where ideas are born to soar, gave significant opportunity to the youth of Zambia to think beyond their current limitations and convert their complaints and frustrations into a competitive advantage in business.
Three teams made up of youth from all over Zambian were invited to come together, discuss the challenges they saw in their local communities and create viable business-based solutions to problems. They were then invited to pitch these ideas to a judging panel of four industry experts from around the world. The budding young entrepreneurs were given 10 minutes to pitch their ideas to industry experts in the hope of being selected as the winning team that would walk away with the prize fund for their business venture. The pitches from the nest came from; Team Agriculture, who planned to take a food subsidy where 60% of harvested crops are wasted due to its perishable nature and convert it into “Reel Paste” a processing company that converts overripe tomatoes into different flavoured tomato purées and pastes. Team Education and Health fired back with a pitch that focused on mental health, not money, although funding is invaluable, they rooted their pitch in healing and supporting the emotional scars that Zambians living with mental health issues and disabilities suffer from and can get stigmatized by. Their pitch focused on developing an online app offering premium support services tailored to physical, psychological, and physiotherapeutic needs.
But His Excellency Mr Mwamba announced that the winning prize was swooped up by Team climate change, their business, known as “Plastic Belt” would be the ultimate pitch that judges felt had potential because “it offered more than one revenue stream due of the nature of its distribution channel” said judge Constance Moonzwe from the USA. Their pitch outlined how they would collect and convert plastic waste from Zambia’s municipalities and convert it into building blocks. These unique blocks lock together when stacked and can be used to build homes.
If you would like to watch these amazing youth battle it out, you can catch the Summit recordings online on the iNSPIRE ZAMBIA YouTube Channel.