Southern Africa Seeks New Ways to Tackle Unemployment

Independence Avenue Windhoek

The Southern African Development Community region is looking for innovative solutions to meet current and future challenges of unemployment, especially among youth and women, Namibian labour minister Erikki Nghimtina says.

The minister made these remarks at the official opening of the SADC meeting for employment and labour ministers and social partners last Thursday in Windhoek.

The SADC ministers of this sector and social partners had a five-day meeting in Namibia from 4-8 March 2019 under the theme 'Coordination of development programmes to maximise employment-creation and productivity'.

Nghimtina said the southern African region needs coordination points in order to unlock the solution to unemployment, and to enhance productivity.

"The goal of coordination may sound simple, but it has been an elusive goal in the development of our economies, especially in the area of employment-creation," he added.

The minister said officials discussed in public the need to create employment and express ideas on how employment could be created, although implementation seems to fail.

"These are the types of issues that must be debated across all socio-economic sectors through the prism of employment- creation. When decisions are made, they must be implemented with the maximum coordination of all role-players," Nghimtina added.

Also speaking at the event, the Southern Africa International Organisation for Migration (IOM) regional director, Charles Kwenin, said the recognition of coordination is an important element of effective policy formulation and implementation, which is very critical in advancing the developmental agenda in the SADC region.

Kwenin said ensuring connectivity between various policy dominations by breaking sectoral silos is one of the key challenges facing many African governments towards achieving sustainable development, including both the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the African Union Agenda 2063.

He pointed to migration as one of those issues which are characterised by its multi-faceted and cross-sectoral nature.

At the request of member states, IOM is assisting with the development of a regional migration policy framework to identify key challenges and opportunities, and formulate context-specific recommendations under the guidance of SADC secretaries.

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