Corruption robs the youth of jobs

A review of the youth unemployment situation in Namibia says corruption nis largely to blame for the failure of job-creation programmes.

06 January 2022 | Economics

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

Corruption, which has permeated the entire social structure of Namibia, has robbed the Namibian youth of gainful employment as well as undermined the country’s efforts to grow a healthy economy.

This is according to the Targeted Review Mission on Youth Unemployment in Namibia, which recommends the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) with the country’s mineral resources such as diamonds, uranium and fishing.

The report suggests that a certain percentage of the fund should be channelled to the proposed Youth Programmes Coordination and Implementation Unit under the Office of the President to accelerate targeted programmes that support youth employment.

The report also recommends consolidated funding across ministries and government agencies with proper monitoring systems in place for the creation of youth employment.

The problem

According to the Targeted Review Mission on Youth Unemployment in Namibia, young people are unaware of development or opportunities because of poor communication.

In many instances, these efforts were hampered by corruption and nepotism.

“It is clear that collusion between political elites and local and foreign contractors to inflate contract amounts has robbed Namibia of the resources needed to develop a vibrant economy that can create jobs for the youth in the various sectors of the economy,” the report states.

Some of the key constraints to the development of micro, small and medium enterprises included an uncoordinated institutional framework, lack of access to land and cumbersome administrative procedures.

There is also a serious mismatch of skills, while the estimated 30 000 young people who drop out of school annually find themselves on the periphery with no skills to enter the job market.

The report therefore calls for the recognition of the informal sector in creating jobs as well as training and skills development in a coordinated manner.

Invisible NYC and NS

The report highlighted that there is a feeling that the National Youth Council (NYC) and the National Youth Service (NYS) have done very little to improve the lives of the youth.

Instead, the two organisations are being used by the few to get personal visibility at the expense of the real programme.

Most of them proposed the establishment of a youth desk in each government ministry that will coordinate with the NYC. Going forward, there is a need to rationalise the NYS and NYC to improve governance of youth.

The report further found that the government’s Green Schemes and small-scale farming projects have not been successfully administered by either the farmers or government agencies.

These programmes are not leading to economic growth for the farmers, the report states.

As a result, it remains a challenge attract young people to agriculture.

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