Youth Development Policy launched

While Namibia’s countrywide unemployment rate stands at 29.6% (2014 study) the situation in Swakopmund is much worse: 65% of the youth is unemployed. This figure was revealed yesterday and forms part of the reason why Swakopmund developed a Youth Development Policy and Strategy.

“Namibia, like many of its neighbours, faces many challenges varying from unemployment, HIV/AIDS, alcohol and drug abuse and an alarming high number of school dropouts without the minimal skills for productive employment to mention a few,” said Jerry Ekandjo, Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, yesterday. Ekandjo officially launched the Swakopmund Youth Development Policy and Strategy.
The policy seeks to grant the local youth a platform for growth, active participation in development programmes, decision making, social & cultural well-being, education and skills training and leading lifestyles. Besides the alarming high number of unemployed youth in Swakopmund Ekandjo mentioned various challenges the youth face today. “They have limited access to capitalise their micro business,” he said. In this regard he noted that although some youth have good business ideas, they are seen and regarded as a high risk clientele group as they lack the prerequisite collateral. “As a result, financial institutions turn down their requests for project funding, thereby negatively impacting the lives of young people,” he said.
Ekandjo congratulated the Swakopmund Municipality for taking the step and developing such a policy. He however described this step only as the “first lap of your team.” He now called on all stakeholders to implement the document and realise the vision. “While implementing the strategy, I urge the Municipality of Swakopmund to align the execution of its strategy with the Harambee Prosperity Plan,” he said.
At the same event Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua had a simple message to convey. “I only have one word. Mindset,” he said. He compared the Namibian youth to other nations and concluded that a change in mindset is necessary. “What I pick up when I visit China is the different mindset of the youth there. They always want to invent something new and are very creative,” he noted. They don’t want to drop out of school, but have the mindset to create something.
“Our youth in Namibia wants to take part in demonstrations. That just shows us that they are not occupied,” he said. Mutjavikua also called on all stakeholders to implement the policy and empower the youth to become creative and be ambitious. “We must implement the document and aquire the objectives,” said Swakopmund Mayor Paulina Nashilundo at the occasion. She said that many good documents end up on the shelf and gather dust which must be prevented at all cost.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login