Windhoek — The Namibia Youth Credit Scheme (NYCS), which started as a pilot project in 2005, in the Ohangwena, Oshana, Oshikoto and Omusati regions is today successful and has been replicated in other regions.
The success of the programme has attracted attention from neighbouring countries, with an exchange visit taking place between the NYCS and the Commonwealth Youth Programme in Lusaka, Zambia.
The exchange saw 16 NYCS beneficiaries from all 13 regions of the country learning best practices, networking and exchanging business ideas with Zambian youths.
"The NYCS has over 4 000 youths enrolled in the programme. They all went through the basic business management training before receiving micro-loans to start their own businesses," according to a statement from the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture.
During the exchange visit to Lusaka, the Namibian youths had the opportunity to meet with other youths, who are in business at Moffat Craft Centre, Chifundo Youth Project, including the Kalingalinga Youth Skills Training Centre in Lusaka. They were in Lusaka from October 29 to November 03.
"They had the chance to hold a successful exhibition of their products at Arcades Mall in the Lusaka City Centre. The products exhibited ranged from carpentry, printed T-shirts, glasses, weaving baskets, Nama and Oshiwambo traditional outfits, Ovahimba traditional otjizumba (perfume) and otjize (powder) and leather bags. They also paid a courtesy call to the Namibian High Commissioner in Zambia, Salomon Josephat Witbooi," according to the statement.
One of the youths who participated in the exchange programme, Colleta Mukuahima from the Erongo Region, said the exchange was an eye opener and "appreciates that the governments of Namibia and Zambia gave us a chance to explore new business ideas".