Job prospects bleak

26 June 2019 | Columns

There is not an iota of doubt that young Namibians have been the most conspicuous victims of the skyrocketing unemployment rate that has befallen us. National statistics show that almost every second young person in Namibia is without a job. These statistics make for a further grim reading if you zoom in on the highly underprivileged Kavango East Region.

While delivering his annual State of the Region Address (Sora) governor Samuel Mbambo decried the high youth unemployment rate in his region, which currently stands at a disturbing 62.5%. According to Mbambo, during the period under review (2018/19), only 529 jobs were created in the region, of which 120 were permanent ones, while the rest were temporary. Mbambo added that his office is in the process of mobilising various stakeholders in the region to see how they can address the unemployment issue. The situation is not only limited to Kavango East. It is equally concerning in all other 13 regions of our country and 122 constituencies. It remains the biggest failure of those in power in the last 29 years. Unemployment has never been prioritised in this country and it is therefore unsurprising that about 350 000 people are currently desperately in search of jobs. This figure continues to rise, considering the massive job losses being experienced across industries throughout the country. The issue here is that the bane of unemployment has not been addressed to this day. There is also poor planning, coupled with the pathetic execution of many capital projects earmarked for regional development. It goes without saying that Namibia needs innovative approaches to tackle its high unemployment rate. But this must be accompanied by a serious commitment to invest in infrastructure development, in order to stimulate the economy and create much-needed jobs. It will also augur well if government can look at providing policy incentives for a medium and big companies as a motivation to produce more jobs that benefit the local economy. Unemployment is our biggest problem and should be treated as such.