Geingob reaches out to youth

Amidst the scramble for votes ahead of tomorrow’s general election, the head of state engaged youth at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN).

26 November 2019 | Youth

Ester Kamati

The state of hospitals, corruption and opportunities for young people were among the queries handled by President Hage Geingob when he engaged the youth at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) recently.

Some youth also questioned the president on his approach when it comes to corruption that keeps surfacing within government.

The head of state affirmed there has been significant change over the years and urged youth not to say that “nothing has changed”. He further highlighted “there is no systemic corruption in Namibia”, while explaining that if a resource is unavailable, it will not suddenly exist due to the flash of a pretty penny.

He added that systems and intuitions need to be strengthened, and that it does not depend on an individual to tackle corruption. He added he cannot interfere with court procedures, and as such, leaves the cases in the hands of the courts.

Although Geingob stated that government is making an effort to prioritise education, high youth unemployment was still a hot topic of the discussion.

One of the attendees was an honours and master’s degree graduate in clinical psychology, who is still unemployed.

Another attendee enquired about employment, amongst others, as well as the manner in which the economy is operating, while raising export processing zones (EBZs) as a suggestion to enhance economic activity and ultimately the country’s development.

Another attendee tackled the issue of inequality in the Namibian house, sharing that “hunger is real”, as tenders and resources are not shared, and referred to the Namibian house as “growing up with an evil stepmother”.

In response, the head of state referred to education, training and open opportunities as ammunition to fight the war on poverty.

Hazel Hinda, an actress and the vice-chairperson of the NTN, shared that when it comes to youth, there is a sense of entitlement and the absence of responsibility. “Opportunities are not equal, and even if they are, we don’t all have the equal path to get there,” she added.

She sternly highlighted the absence of accountability and expressed that community activism should exist apolitically and that youth should take a stand and hold their councillors and leaders accountable, instead of only complaining and not acting.

“We cannot arrive at a far place in one day. Development is a process,” added Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. She added that an SME support scheme has been established, which enables graduates to practice their trades.

“This is specifically for you from the VTCs (vocational training centres), from Unam, from Nust.

“Certain government tenders will be reserved for Namibian companies, or for joint ventures with Namibians,” added the prime minister. The president’s advisor on youth matters Daisry Mathias announced that such engagements would continue.

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