7 March 2018

Namibia: Youth Unaware of National Budget

Windhoek — A quick random survey yesterday, on the eve of the tabling of the 2018-2019 national budget by Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein, has revealed that some youth are not aware of the tabling.

Kondja Kaimbi feels that there is enough people who are concerned about the tabling of the budget already exist. "As a young person, I can only care and participate in what I feel directly affects me. The tabling of the budget, will only affect me if I see that my university's budget is being cut." He adds that he only got to know about the national budget day this week, and was not aware of the previous budget.

Lucy Kosmas says she is not aware of the national budget day. "I was wondering if the agricultural sectors can get more finance so that they can produce more local produce for the country which is basically better then importing products from other countries, which is costly," says Kosmas. She says the previous budget was not really convincing due to budget cuts. Sim Ambuga says he became aware of the national budget day a week ago. He says he was disappointed by the previous budget due to the fact that budget cuts were done on important sectors, such as education ministry. "My expectation are to have an idea on what the country is spending the money on. If it's on economy building or just to feed the few," she added.

"We should expect reprioritisation where we see a smaller amount of the budget going to the defense ministry, while the education ministry enjoys the cream of the crop followed by the health ministry," says director of Development of the Paradigm Shift Youth Academy, Fannes Namhuya. He added that these two sectors are falling apart and need urgent rescuing from the new budget. "In terms of economic recovery, generally although education always get the larger piece of the budget cake, we should triple the education budget so that we realise the true meaning of free education, equity and quality thereof," emphasises Namhuya.

Meanwhile the National Youth Council (NYC) Director, Calista Schwartz - Gowases, says youth development activities in Namibia have almost grinded to a halt due to budgetary constraints. She adds that activities planned to improve the livelihood of young people in Namibia have not been realised because the budget allocation to the youth ministry gets cut every year. "For the past years, budget allocation for youth development has become so meagre that it's almost impossible to run programmes and projects meant to develop our young people."

Schwartz - Gowases adds that in Namibia, young people are considered to be between the ages of 16 to 35 years. "The youth constitute 50% of the national population. If adolescent and children are considered part of the group, that population will rise to a staggering figure of 80%. Investing in the youth by harnessing the youth demographic dividend is what should guide the budget policy this year".


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