Namibia: Youth Are Excluded From the Mainstream Infrastructure Pillar

14 October 2020

Civil engineer and director of Mondjila Project Advisory and Management Panashe Daringo (32) said some potential pitfalls that hinder the progress of infrastructural development in Namibia is the exclusion of young people from the mainstream pillar or activities of the infrastructural nature.

He was part of the panel of speakers at the second phase of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) Youth Consultations, organised by the Office of the President.

"Infrastructural development is capital intensive and there is a big barrier for young people to further start businesses in the infrastructure space, which is the link to a limited capital component," outlined Daringo.

He also stated there are no active programmes that include young people. "There aren't any active and intentional youth programmes that are dedicated to young people in infrastructure and this is obviously a major pitfall and it speaks directly into this programme," he expressed.

He said effective transport infrastructure is the backbone of a vibrant economy. "Namibia's geographic location is prime to establish itself as the logistics hub for Africa. Good infrastructure is a good enabler for economic growth and it attracts investments and promotes business expansion - and it also facilitates trade between countries," he opined.

Another pitfall he outlined was the legislation, which he feels the construction sector is not regulated.

"We have wonderful acts and laws in Namibia; however, the construction industry is not regulated. For the last couple of years, we have been trying to get the National Construction Council established, as having this body allows one to grow gradually in the construction and infrastructural space," he said.

Daringo further stressed: "We have a wonderful public procurement act but it is not effectively utilised to ensure dedicated individual groups are monitored."

The infrastructure pillar falls part of the Harambee Prosperity Plan along with four other pillars, 15 sub-pillars and 43 implementation targets aimed at significantly reducing poverty levels, inequalities and uplifts the living standards of all Namibians - and, in the same vein, to deliver prosperity to all.

The plan is constructed around the Namibian house, with the aim of creative and inclusive state rooted in the strong foundations of peace and stability.

The presidential advisor for youth matters and enterprise development, Daisry Mathias, said the Office of the President convenes quarterly for these youth consultations. "We are here to shape the future together. We want to craft this common agenda together because of the shared destiny we have. The last six months have changed our lives profoundly," she highlighted.

She said the Office of the President intends for the exchanges to be meaningful and not necessarily hear the ideas and walk away.

Mathias emphasised: "We intend on mainstreaming the ideas and to ensure they are reflected in the national policy formulation."

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