On the spot – Amutenya climbs the political ladder 

Home National On the spot – Amutenya climbs the political ladder 
On the spot – Amutenya climbs the political ladder 

Willem Amutenya has been making waves in the political scene in recent times, with many pundits considering him one of Namibia’s fastest rising politicians. New Era’s Aletta Shikololo sat down with the 35-year-old Amutenya to discuss his political journey, pertinent youth issues, and his vision for the future.

Amutenya’s political activism began during his time as a student at the University of Namibia (Unam), where he became involved in student politics and was eventually elected as the Student Representative Council (SRC) president. 

After completing his studies, Amutenya continued with youth politics in the Oshikoto region through the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) and youth forum, eventually being elected in 2021 to the SPYL regional central committee (CC) during the seventh congress and later the national executive as secretary for labour and justice. 

During the eighth SPYL congress of 2022, he was re-elected to the wing’s CC and later delegated to the mother body congress, where he emerged as the youngest CC member.

Though he has been in the political space since his early 20s, Amutenya attracted public attention after an attempt to challenge SPYL leader, Ephraim
Nekongo, for the league’s top position at the eighth congress.

The controversial congress saw Nekongo retaining the position, dashing Amutenya’s hopes when he was denied an opportunity to contest. 

Asked about his inspiration to delve into politics, Amutenya credited his fellow youth leaders at the time who he believes were radical in tackling university and national issues. 

“They really developed in me the real patriotism and interest to participate in national discourses,” he said. He also shared that his followers and those he inspired motivated him just as much. 

“Especially when they talk of my leadership qualities. I then felt that possibly I have what my generation wants in political leaders, so I considered myself a political leader throughout,” he narrated. 

The young politician emphasised that bread and butter issues are crucial to young people’s economic advancement. 

He listed educational funding, access to affordable financial support for their business, access to affordable housing, and any other opportunity to make a living as key issues affecting the youth. 

“Those in schools and varsity are striving to make it to the top for economic freedom. Nothing else. Therefore, any issue that contributes to young people’s economic advancement is vital,” noted Amutenya.

When it comes to engaging young people in political processes, the politician stressed the importance of a sustainable approach that includes a formal political discourse and providing input in formulating current and future politics. 

He believes that inclusive political participation is a fundamental and democratic right that is crucial to building a stable and peaceful Namibian society. 

He said, “It must not be a mesmerising game. My plan is to advocate for young people to be engaged in formal political processes.”

Amutenya’s advocacy includes
providing necessary knowledge and
capacity through youth-oriented platforms like social media, youth public lecturers,
and reaching rural youth.

Queried on his election to one of the Swapo party’s most crucial structures, Amutenya considers it as a victory for his generation. He sees it as an opportunity to prove his capacity and what it means to include the youth in formal political processes.

“That symbolises the keen interest to changing the political landscape,” he

In terms of his vision for Namibia’s
future, he wants nothing else but socio-economic freedom for all. Amutenya believes everyone deserves to benefit
from the national cake through services
and opportunities that improve their

He,  therefore, pointed out he is accountable to the Swapo youth and the Namibian people and adheres to specific tools in place to ensure transparency in decision-making processes. 

– ashikololo@nepc.com.na