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First report of the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Gender and Women's Affairs [SC 17, 2007]
Report on the half-year budget performance of the Ministries of Youth, Development and Employment Creation, Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development and Small and Medium Enterprise Development
Presented to Parliament November 2007

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1. Introduction
1.1 The terms of reference for Portfolio Committees provide that a Portfolio Committee shall monitor, investigate, enquire into and make recommendations relating to any aspect of budget or any other aspect it may consider relevant to the Government Department falling within the affairs assigned to it.

1.2 Therefore, as part of its mandate, The Committee on Youth, Gender and Community Development considered the half year budget performance of the three Ministries that it shadows, namely The Ministry of Youth Development and Employment Creation, The Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development. The Committee sought accountability for the funds that were allocated to the Ministry by Finance and also sought to find out if the Ministry had managed to achieve its set objectives in the first half of the year.

. . .

6. Conclusion
6.1 The Committee is cognizant of the fact that the current economic environment makes it impossible for the Government to fulfill all the bids that are made by Ministries. However, the Ministries have managed to operate with the limited resources though operations may not have been efficient. The Committee commends the effort made by the Ministry of Youth Development and Employment Creation and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, as visits made by the Committee around the country showed that the Ministries were doing their best in implementing the budgets allocated to them by Treasury.

7. Recommendations
Having considered the above-mentioned evidence and having made the above-mentioned observations, the Committee therefore recommends that:

7.1 The Government should prioritise the funding of the Ministry of Youth Development and Employment Creation if it is serious about alleviating poverty in the country, as the youth make up about 60% of the country’s population.

7.2 The Government should synchronise the operations of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development so that funding for community development programmes could be done by one Ministry, thereby eliminating the problem of replication of functions and enabling effective monitoring and evaluation of the programmes.

7.3 The Ministry of Women’s Affairs should be given the role of funding these community development programmes as it has staff from the National level right down to the ward level. The Ministry should then be given more resources to implement the various programmes.

7.4 With the current hyper inflationary environment that is being experienced in the country, the Government should consider reviewing budget allocations on a quarterly basis, so as to enable Ministries to operate and achieve their targets.

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