OVER 1,600 youth in three regions will benefit from six grants worth over 1.2bn/-disbursed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support small businesses and private organisations.
The Brand Communication Specialist of the Feed the Future Tanzania Advancing Youth, the project financed by the USAID, Mr Princely Glorious mentioned the regions as Iringa, Mbeya and the Isles of Zanzibar.
“The funds will be used to implement various projects particularly in agriculture that employs over 70 per cent of the country’s workforce,” he said during the East Africa Youth Leadership Summit annual general meeting for youth from East African countries held in Arusha recently.
He added, the funds will also be used provide youth with entrepreneurship training and opportunities, improve access to finance, enhance finance management skills and workforce readiness.
He said the project implemented in the country focus to benefit youth aged between 23 to 35 years. Some of the organisations which are beneficiaries of the grants are GIBRI Business Solutions, MWAYODEo, Sunseed International, Center for Youth Development, SIDO Iringa and Sido Mbeya.
He said the project has empowered youth and formed Advancing Youth Advisory Council consisting of 18 youth picked from 72 youth in the districts and regions where the projects are implemented.
“This will enable the youths to establish or expand businesses or take advantage of job opportunities in agriculture and related sectors,” he added. One of the council members, Mkami Tetele from Kyela District in Mbeya Region said through the project they have formed a group of 25, savings and credits who mobilized 2,800,000 shares.
He borrowed 400,000/-to start small business of selling maize flour and after five months the amount doubled. His projection is to have capital of 5m/-in two years from now.
“The project also empower youth on reproductive health and life skills to equip them to raise better families,” he said.
The projects under USAID are implemented in Kyela District, Mbeya Region, Iringa and Kilolo Districts in Iringa Region, Unguja and Pemba in Zanzibar.