Juniors tackle issues of the day

31 August 2018 | Government

The 42 members of Namibia's first Junior National Council convened this week in Windhoek to discuss a range of topics affecting the country's youth.

The National Council second session of the first Junior National Council under the theme 'Enhancing Partnerships to Strengthen Good Governance in Namibia' comes to an end today.

A total of 42 grade 10, 11 and 12 learners from all 14 regions started debating among other issues, the impact of human trafficking on the youth, cybercrime and its effects on the Namibian youth, the involvement of the youth in the extractive industry for enhancing economic and social development, and youth participation in budgeting processes at local and national level.

The Junior National Council is one of several initiatives of the National Council towards achieving its strategic goal of enhancing public participation in the law-making process in the country.

The programme is further aimed at developing a basic understanding of parliamentary functions and practices, legislative procedures as well as the importance of review and oversight in the legislative process.

The Junior National Council was inaugurated in May 2017 and the 42 members were drawn from 14 regions representing 121 constituencies.

Members serve a term of two years, and those who are currently in grade 12 will be replaced at the end of the academic year.

Members were nominated in their regions through a process based on their leadership skills and ability to debate issues of common interest.

The junior council is composed of an equal number of boys and girls, representing rural and urban areas alike.

At the launch, National Council chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams said the junior council is aimed at developing a generation of young people who are politically aware and responsible citizens.

In 2017, the young parliamentarians passed several recommendations, including a motion seeking the removal of a clause in the Marriage Act which allows children under the age of 18 to marry if approval is given by the line minister.

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