A future for youth in the African continent

It is graduation season for most of the higher institutions and the University of Science and Technology (Nust) is of course no different.

30 April 2019 | Education

Justicia Shipena

The University of Science and Technology (Nust) held its first graduation ceremony for the year under the theme ‘Catalysing youth empowerment for the fourth industrial revolution’ at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek on the 25 and 26 April, where over 2 000 students graduated with qualifications from various faculties.

A total of 2 352 students from the institution graduated and out of the 2 352, 1 250 were female graduates. The institution also announced their youngest PhD holder, Mohammed Shehu in the faculty of informatics.

Speaking at the ceremony Nust’s council chairperson, Esi Schimming-Chase said the high number of female graduates demonstrates that there has been a cessation in males leading various fields.

Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, minister of higher education, training and innovation, congratulated the graduates and reminded them to be thankful to those who had scarified for them to obtain their qualifications.

She added that institutions are expected to entrench and make work-based and project-based learning, as well as entrepreneurship education and training, essential and mandatory parts of the curriculum.

“A general understanding now prevails that university education should contribute to graduate employability, and that the future of nations depend on strong partnerships between universities and industry,” she said.

Kandjii-Murangi continued saying that Africa has the youngest population in the world and by 2055, the continent’s youth population which is between the ages of 15 to 24, is expected to be more than double the 2015 total of 226 million.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Africa can thrive, if governments, civil society and industry, as well as universities act now to tap the energy and dynamism of this youthful population,” she said.

She further added that it is vital to give youth hope and confidence in the future of Africa and the world.

Kandjii-Murangi said that the number-one priority should be to build the right skills for tomorrow’s jobs, nurture entrepreneurship and provide access to affordable and sustainable financing options such as venture capital, equity financing and offer credit to those who seek to become entrepreneurs and active participants in growing the economies of their respective countries.

“Enlightened self-interest dictates that we empower our young people to be able to navigate the rapidly changing world,” she said.

Professor Peter Katjavivi, Nust’s chancellor, expressed that youth empowerment is vital and called on the government to fund youth projects.

In line with the chancellor’s statement, the national budget for 2019/20 financial year allocated N$15 million to support youth entrepreneurship projects while N$9.5 million was assigned to support youth empowerment and self-employment under the National Youth Council.

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