President Hage Geingob has said conscious efforts have been made to include young people in the political decision-making process, citing the youngest member of parliament Patience Masua, who is aged 22, and deputy minister Emma Theofelus whom he appointed in 2020 at the age of 23.
Geingob stated this virtually at the opening of the Youth Connekt Africa Summit, which was held in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali recently.
“The premium that I continue to place on youth inclusion, empowerment and development is not merely political rhetoric. It should translate into effective governance and sustainable development. Young people must actively participate and be meaningfully engaged in our Agenda 2063 developmental aspiration,” he said.
Geingob added that the hope and future of the continent lie with the young, hence the need for individual and collective contributions to realise the vision of a prosperous and peaceful Africa.
“Development and information should, therefore, be cascaded, using technology as an enabler to reach and benefit all members of our societies, specifically young people at the grassroots and rural communities.”
He stated that in order to harness the demographic dividend, the Namibian government is in the process of implementing a cross-cutting National Youth Policy, which incorporates youth development programmes.
“The overall goal of the policy is to ensure that young Namibians are empowered and become self-reliant and productive citizens through improved education, health and economic outcomes, as well as increased political participation,” shared Geingob.
Law student and member of the Namibian Children’s Parliament Rivaldo Kavanga told Youth Corner on the sidelines of the summit that embracing and sharing concepts, ideas and inventions is the highlight of the Youth Connekt Summit.
Several technology-related ideas were shared at the event, including technology to tackle issues such as period poverty and the lack of sexual and reproductive health resources.
“A particular pitch that attracted my attention was that of a young South African lady who created an app that delivers menstrual products and contraceptives to young girls. Most of the products are free and any female can use the app to request the products. The app also allows businesses trading in menstrual products and contraceptives to sell their products,” said Kavanga.
Based on the principles of solidarity, unity and collaboration, which are the core ethos of this initiative, Namibia decided to subscribe to the Youth Connekt Africa programme in May 2022, becoming the 28th member state to do so. - firstname.lastname@example.org