Youth and unemployment report launched

The report identifies several constraints and possibilities to realise high youth employment targets.

23 November 2021 | Youth

Patience Masua, youth representative and member of parliament: “…On average in Namibia, youth unemployment is north of 40% and may be increasing as more graduates are released from school”.

MICHELLINE NAWATISES







The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Targeted Review Report on youth and unemployment report was launched on 17 November at statehouse by Vice President, Dr Nangolo Mbumba.

Namibia is one of the pioneers of targeted reviews as it is amongst the first countries of the APRM to undertake a targeted review of youth unemployment in 2019. The forum approved the report and urged Namibia to spearhead its implementation and further requested to report progress at the next Africa Peer Review Forum of heads of state in February 2022.

The national plan of action contains priorities and actions required to address the drivers of youth unemployment or youth employment in Namibia.

Report and recommendations

The report acknowledged that government has over the years adopted and implemented policies and programmes specifically aimed to achieve youth development and employment indicators.

It also identified several constraints and possibilities to realise high youth employment targets. As such, it recommended that an appropriate institutional framework be established which will properly coordinate, monitor and evaluate all employment initiatives with a focus on youth.

Cabinet directed the National Planning Commission to spearhead the mainstreaming of the national plan of action of youth employment into the national development plans and strategies for operationalisation by the ministry of sports, youth and national service.

When delivering the keynote address, Mbumba said the ministry of international relations will be responsible for popularising the report across the African continent.

“It cannot be overemphasised that the growth potential of Namibia and the continent can only be developed through the inclusion of young people into the policy-making mainstreams and economic recovery efforts,” he said.

Daisry Mathias, the presidential advisor on youth matters and enterprise development, said Namibia has scored some important successes in the integration of mainstreaming, elevation and prioritisation of social developmental factors that are affecting young people.

“The launch of the Targeted Review Report of youth unemployment is a further commitment by the Namibian government to better understand and to address the drivers behind youth unemployment,” she said.

Meanwhile, youth representative and member of parliament Patience Masua delivered a reflection on behalf of young people.

“Youth unemployment and underemployment are serious problems in Namibia. On average in Namibia, youth unemployment is north of 40% and may be increasing as more graduates are released from schools,” she said.

Mitigating youth issues

To address this concern, several approaches have been made such as the development of the Bank of Namibia to provide funding for young enterprises owned by youth, and administering a skill-based landing facility centre targeting artisans and other young professionals in different fields that relax the standard loan conditions such as owners’ equity contributions and collateral.

Similarly, Agribank has a number of loan schemes for women and youth and there was one in particular, which was launched last year, which encourages participation and financial inclusion in the area of agriculture for women and young people.

Likewise, the National Youth Service also provides civic, technical and vocational training for young people and out-of-school youth.

“During my contribution in Parliament last week on this important motion and in support of curbing the growing youth unemployment, I proposed a 4.4% policy position to help craft our vision in combatting youth unemployment,” Masua said.

These 4.4% policy interventions were: Fiscal incentives for youth-driven entrepreneurship; fiscal incentives for employment; upscaling of technical and vocational education and training to serve labour-intensive industries and the optimisation of agriculture and food production.

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