Youth and unemployment report launched

Sharing prosperity
Otis Daniels_Finck
Swakopmund • [email protected]

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Targeted Review Report on youth and unemployment was launched by the Vice President Dr Nangolo Mbumba on at State House on Wednesday.

Speaking at the event, Mbumba said that Namibia undertook the review in 2019 and submitted a report for review by a forum in February 2020. “The forum approved the report, urging Namibia to spearhead its implementation, requesting a progress report in February 2022.”

The APRM is an instrument voluntarily acceded to by AU member states as a self-monitoring mechanism. It is often described as “Africa’s unique and innovative approach to governance” and seeks to improve dynamics at local, national and continental levels.
Namibia is amongst the first countries to undertake a targeted review of youth unemployment.

The chairperson of the National Governing Council (NGC), Wilfried Emvula, said the APRM believes that the platform will pave the way for a continuous process of strengthening and engagement between policymakers and the representatives of the donor community, the private sector and civil society. The platform also promotes evidence-based, transparent decision making as well as innovation and lesson learning to arrive at policies suited to the local context. “I seek your cooperation in monitoring and the implantation of this plan that will lead to the development of our youth, not only in Namibia but also on the rest of the African continent,” Emvula said.

Important successes

According to Daisry Mathias, the presidential advisor on youth matters and enterprise development, Namibia scored important successes in the integration of mainstreaming, elevation and prioritisation of social developmental factors that affect young people. “Today’s report launch is a further commitment by government to better understand and to address the drivers behind youth unemployment.” She added that the premium that is placed by government on the development and empowerment of young people is not purely rhetoric; it is a matter of sustainable development. “The president has often reiterated that prosperity that is not shared, is not sustainable.”

Patience Masua, a youth representative and a member of parliament, said that youth unemployment and underemployment are serious problems in Namibia. “On average, youth unemployment is north of 40% and may be increasing as more graduates are released from schools.” She added that the promotion of decent young people is a concern. “To address this concern, several approaches have been made such as the Development Bank of Namibia providing funding for enterprises owned by the youth. BON also administers a skill-based landing facility centre targeting artisans and other young professionals in different fields that relaxes the standard loan conditions.”

She said that Agribank also has a number of loan schemes for women and the youth. “Likewise, the National Youth Service also provides civil, technical and vocational training for young people and youth out of school. During her contribution in parliament last week, Masua in support of curbing the growing youth unemployment rate, proposed a 4.4% policy position to help craft the vision of the country in combating youth unemployment. These interventions are fiscal incentives for youth-driven entrepreneurship; fiscal incentives for employment; upscaling of TVET education to serve labour-intensive industries; and the optimisation of agriculture and food production.