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Entrepreneurship education key to employment creation

2018-09-24  Edgar Brandt

Entrepreneurship education key to employment creation
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WINDHOEK - Entrepreneurship education is a key contributor to employment creation as it creates jobs for the youth when there are few available vacancies. This was one of the key messages on Thursday morning when Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, addressed the opening of the 19th Annual Symposium by the Bank of Namibia. 

“The pivotal role of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in economic development cannot be overemphasised. TVET has had a positive effect on economic growth worldwide. It succeeded in reducing poverty; crime and unemployment rates just to mention a few. Those who were technically skilled found it easy to be self-employed and be productive in the economy, thereby increasing the country’s employment and promoting economic growth,” said Ndjoze-Ojo at the symposium which this year encompassed the theme; Creating Employment through Technical Vocational Education and Training in Namibia. 

One of the most critical challenges facing the country is high level of unemployment and in particular, youth unemployment. According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), youth unemployment for those aged 15 to 34 stands at a whopping 43.4, based on 2016 figures. NSA records also show that unemployed women constitute 38 percent of the potential workforce. These high rates of joblessness are compounded by high income inequality with a high Gini-coefficient of 0.572 (NSA: 2015/2016). 

“Since young people comprise a large and growing proportion of the world’s working-age population, their employment prospects affect a country’s future economic growth, both in their respective countries and globally. While that is true, high youth unemployment is persistent worldwide and this phenomenon is attributed to slow economic growth, dependency on primary sector and also the mismatch between supply and demand for skills. To address such skills mismatches, it is equally important for the education and training sector to align their skills development initiatives with skills demanded by the economic sector,” Ndjoze-Ojo stated. 

She added that for Namibia to make a difference to its economic development and that of addressing youth unemployment, the country needs to prioritise the TVET sector and to emulate other countries that have been successful in its introduction. 
During the welcoming remarks of the symposium, Bank of Namibia Governor Iipumbu Shiimi, noted that Namibia has started to aggressively reshape its TVET strategy over the past few years with the view to support skills development, economic growth and employment creation. This, he said, is a commendable strategy as history has shown that countries with a strong industrial base, such as China, Germany, Japan and Switzerland, have paid sufficient attention to TVET. 

“I am convinced that strengthening TVET in Namibia is the responsibility of all of us present at this symposium. My appeal to you all is that the time for talking is now over, the clock is ticking towards 2030. History and our children will not judge us kindly if we fail to implement a cost-effective TVET strategy. Therefore, we have no choice but to deliver,” Shiimi concluded. 

2018-09-24  Edgar Brandt

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