Omaruru — The ministry of youth in its effort to empower young Namibian youth, launched a self-employment horticulture project in Omaruru on Friday.
The horticulture project aims to encourage and create employment opportunities for young people to produce crops and vegetables and contribute to the country's food security.
With 39.2% of youth unemployment, Erongo governor Neville Andre said the new project is part of the government plans to create self-sustainable projects driven by young Namibians.
He said the project responds to the directions outlined in the Harambee Prosperity Plan including calls for the expansion of youth participation in social and economic development.
"The sub-pillar of youth enterprise development in the Harambee Prosperity Plan has dual objectives, to create an enabling environment for private sector entrepreneurial startups and growth-oriented SMEs, as well as to facilitate the establishment of youth-owned enterprises, through government structures and interventions," Andre explained.
He said the objective of the horticulture project is to increase skills, productivity and income potential of out of school youth in peri-urban and rural areas.
"Specifically, over the next years, this project seeks to provide 84 disadvantaged young men and women between the ages 16 and 35 years with access to business development services through horticulture to realize their full economic potential. Thereafter, more young people will take up this opportunity and scale it up to all constituencies. The programme will be rolled out to all 14 regions," the governor said.
Andre explained that young people face higher barriers to entrepreneurship, hence the ministry felt the need to ensure that youth self-employment projects are established and strengthened to ensure that young people become self-reliant.
"Youth unemployment and underemployment constitute central challenges to Namibia's development. The lack of economic opportunities also has serious social implications, as the inability to gain financial autonomy affects young people's dignity.