Namibia: Don't Use Unemployment to Score Political Points - Nekongo

SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo says the high youth unemployment rate should not be used to score political points by those who prey on the desperation of young people.

Don't use unemployment to score political

points - Nekongo


SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo says the high youth unemployment rate should not be used to score political points by those who prey on the desperation of young people.

Nekongo said this on social media yesterday. He did not answer calls and text messages requesting comment on the matter. In his posts, Nekongo said the youth league understands the frustrations of the youth, while assuring them that the government is aware of the challenges faced by young people.

According to him, Swapo remains committed to finding solutions to creating an environment in which every Namibian citizen can flourish.

"Last year's policy conference, as well as the seventh congress of the Swapo party, have passed solid resolutions - among them youth empowerment and employment creation. Swapo therefore collectively remains committed to solving the issue of youth unemployment amicably," he said.

"However, as the leader of the youth league, I must register my disappointment with the pace of the implementation of these policies and programmes by those we have entrusted [with the responsibility] to do so."

Nekongo said the ball is now in the court of the Cabinet, ministries and other government agencies.

He said the delay in the implementation of these programmes and policies is unacceptable and cannot continue.

"We are definitely aware of youth employment and we understand the frustrations of young people. It needs to be tackled head-on; more needs to be done on an urgent basis.

"Undoubtedly, we have confidence that our compassionate and empathetic government remains on course to do just that," Nekongo said.

He said young people must not allow themselves to be used as "political pedestals".

According to Nekongo, youth unemployment has always been at the core of the SPYL.

"The attempts to portray the youth league and its structures through leaked media statements and sensationalism are embedded in individualism and scripted narratives of self-proclaimed messiahs," he said.

He said young people should remain disciplined and patriotic citizens as the government works hard to address their challenges.

He said the government has put in place programmes and projects to elevate the youth through institutions such as the Development Bank of Namibia and Agribank. Nekongo's comments came after his fellow youth leader, Willem Amutenya, last week wrote him a letter asking for an urgent SPYL central committee meeting to discuss youth unemployment in the country.

Amutenya told The Namibian yesterday that unemployment is a life-and-death matter that should not be taken lightly.

He said the youth should welcome every effort meant to address the issue of unemployment. "My letter is simply advocating that spirit, and in fact fulfilling my mandate as an elected youth leader of Swapo. We must take politics out of this, and in fact condemn anyone who politicises unemployment, and focus on saving our very own generation," he said.

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