Cobblestone paving technology - sustainable youth employmentOct 25, 2017
Under the the Africa Caribbean Pacific-European Union Development Minerals Programme, UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development (MMMD) supported a 28-day capacity building programme aimed at empowering women and youth involved from all over the country and interested in the value addition of cobblestones. The intended outcome of this initiative was to capacitate and empower women and youth in all relevant aspects of cobblestone cutting, chiselling and laying techniques as a means for employment.
This programme has brought renewed hope among young people and women of Zambia, as it is being promoted at a time when the Government through the Road Development Agency is promoting the use of development minerals (cobblestone) in road paving through various initiatives such as the Pave Zambia 2000 Project. Evidence from countries like Ethiopia, where this technology has already been adopted, has proved cobblestone paving is a viable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective way of road paving.
Despite Zambian youth constituting up to 36% of the total national population, of which 17.7% are male and 19% are female, they are generally left behind on many socio-economic indicators. With this recognition, women and youth have been deliberately targeted in this programme, hence bringing forward those left behind.
This training will enable the participants to work as contractors in large construction projects where cobblestones will be adopted for road works. The programme is earmarked to benefit over 4,300 youth and women, who will be participating through the “return to work” initiatives that involve setting up cooperatives and small-scale companies to create work opportunities and lift people out of poverty. The aim of the return to work component is to support graduates with practical components once in the field.