Poverty, inequality and jobs crisis

12 August 2019 | Opinion

Joblessness is a national disaster. For a country that is already grappling with high levels of inequality, it is safe to say that we are sitting with a major crisis on our hands. For many years job creation in this country has been woefully off target and actually, more and more Namibians are losing jobs than never before. Companies have been forced to unexpectedly shed jobs because of a poorly performing economy slipping into a technical recession. The tough times are not yet over and the authorities need to step in and build up a strong base for the upliftment of the economy. Pumping money into the economy must be done in a responsible manner to avoid unnecessary wastage. However, the focus on solving this pertinent issue is overlooked by critical role players, including politicians and to some extent business. We find it extremely perplexing that there is no adequate public discourse highlighting the unemployment crisis befalling our nation. And, mind you, Namibia has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. Almost every second young person in this country is without a job. Thousands graduating from tertiary institutions are not guaranteed work in this trying economy. Although millions were pledged in investments during the three-day Economic Summit, which focused on getting the Namibian economy growing again, there is still no position paper on how jobs would be created in the long run. In the meantime, the disparity in education, skill and income continues as senseless programmes are being implemented and only benefiting a selected few elite. The bottom line is that we have not declared war on unemployment, judging by the lackadaisical approach we are going about it. The approach to job creation must change for the better if we are really serious about pushing for more reforms to improve our economy.

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