6 February 2013

Namibia: Youth Unemployment At 68 Percent

THE National Youth Council (NYC) has called for a youth division in each ministry to address the high unemployment rate among young people, who constitute the majority of the population.

The executive director of the NYC, Mandela Kapere, said at a media briefing yesterday that the government and other institutions should adopt a multi-sectoral approach to youth unemployment, which according to him is now close to 68%.

He said creating a youth division in each ministry would ensure that young people are represented across the board in the workforce of ministries and in the private sector.

"South Africa is a good example where every government institution has a youth division," said Kapere. "If you invest in young people, you invest in the future."

According to Kapere, if the unemployment situation among the youth is not addressed through this strategy, the country might have a crisis on its hands and it would be too late to act.

He also added that the unemployment plight of the children of the liberation struggle should be seen broadly, as the plight of the youth nationally.

He called on Government and other institutions to adopt an integrated youth development strategy that would see a multi-sectoral approach addressing issues of youth unemployment which, according to a Labour Force Survey in 2008, stood at 59,9%.

He said that other youth organisations such as the Swapo Youth League also advocate this youth development strategy.

Kapere said that he agrees with Prime Minister Hage Geingob's view that the 'struggle kids' should not 'boycott' government in their attempt to secure jobs for themselves.

"These issues need to be waged through dialogue. There is no need to resort to violence," he said.

Kapere added that Government should return to the inter-ministerial programmes that were accessible to young people in order to address youth unemployment in a more effective manner.

Kapere also expressed the youth council's shock over the death of Education Minister Abraham Iyambo. He urged Government to give the nation time to mourn his death before thinking of a successor.

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