Chongwe district is located in the same province with Zambia’s capital Lusaka. It is a relatively small city of some 150 000 inhabitants. Youth make up a significant part of the labor force, yet unemployment rates for 20 to 24-year-olds are five times that of older adults. Poverty is widespread, compounded by lack of land ownership and limited governmental support.
Agriculture and livestock production are the mainstays of the local economy. Chongwe is actually the food basket of Lusaka, particularly fresh vegetables. This provides an opportunity for young people to enter the food market and add value. The short distance from Lusaka allows Chongwe’s suppliers to bring their produce to the large, mostly informal markets in the capital.
Both Hivos and RUAF have strong relations with the Chongwe District based on previous projects. Hivos worked in Chongwe under the SD4All program (2016-2020), and currently supports several activities there under the HealthyFoodAfrica (value chain support), VCA and AfriFoodLinks programs.
This track record will underpin the work of Urban Futures and link it directly to Lusaka. Urban Futures is also collaborating with key actors among local groups and organizations for farmers, women, impact investing, youth empowerment, and organic farming.