Young entrepreneurs in the country have pleaded with government to set aside a quota in all public procurement processes saying they are finding it tough to compete with established entities.
This came out at the inaugural Youth Indaba held in Harare today where President Emmerson Mnangagwa took time to discuss critical issues affecting young people.
“I represent a huge segment of young entrepreneurs who are struggling to get tenders. It is our hope and plea that Government will look into that and offer us the youth quota that will help us break through,” said one young entrepreneur, Simbarashe Maringosi.
In his response, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said young people were being overlooked due to their incapacity to deliver on national projects which by their nature demand a huge capital outlay.
‘I think the concept is good but the implementation has its difficulties. There are areas youths can participate but some tenders have huge capital outlay. You find young people want to compete fro tenders for projects such as Kariba hydro-power station when that young man has never actually seen an actual power station,’ said Mnangagwa.
He said Government insists on all foreign companies that win local tenders to reserve 40 percent of the total work to locals through supplies of raw materials which he called on youths to explore.
The call for a youth quota comes at a time the country’s tender system has been put on spotlight amid revelations of serious corruption in the awarding of mega projects to politically connected individual.