Board member of the National Youth Council, 2016 Mandela Washington fellow and economic diplomacy and social development advocate, Ndahafa Hapulile, is among the seven Namibian representatives to the 2nd SADC Youth Forum which is set to take place from today till Friday in Mozambique.
Southern Africa Youth Forum (SAYoF) is a regional platform for youths and youth organisations within the SADC region.
Hapulile who is also a central committee member of Swapo Youth League was selected to share her solution-oriented approaches to sustainable development in the realm of youth employment.
The 33-year-old will be facilitating talks on peace and security – some of the key issues to be engaged at the forum.
In an interview with Youth Corner, the goal-oriented Hapulile expressed her excitement to represent the youth at one of the prestigious events, saying: “As someone passionate about economic diplomacy and social development, I find it fitting that the 2nd SADC Youth Forum included peace and security as a session because indeed the existence of peace, security, stability and good governance remains an indisputable prerequisite in achieving our collective aspirations of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful region.”
Hapulile added that it pains her to hear Namibians saying they do not eat peace and stability. “The hardships that we face as a nation cannot be downplayed – it will be a regrettable mistake for us to take our peace and security for granted. Peace and stability, good governance, and the upholding of the rule of law are vital in addressing multiple challenges that breed corruption, xenophobia, social and economic inequalities, and exclusion. Thus, peace, productivity, prospects and prosperity go hand in hand,” she explained.
Hapulile believes that her participation in the session would inspire more Namibian youth to develop an interest in that topic.
Talking about some pressing issues facing young people, Hapulile mentioned that the cost of living in Namibia is very high, which inevitably makes the “source of income” the biggest challenge facing young people.
“Unclear generational pursuit and no synergy: Whether it is consequently to our historical past, we don’t seem to have a clearly defined generational pursuit or vision as a generation. We need to define our cause and collectively set goals as a generation. Do we talk about economic war? What does it mean for us? What is our blueprint and what are the strategies?” she reasoned.
She said the only solution to these matters is for young people to work together and actively participate to influence policies.
“As young people, we must be intentional in our pursuit of knowledge. We must realise that we live in a democratic country – it’s a numbers games, we can only make a real difference if we are informed and united,” says Hapulile.
The discussion will zoom in on the “Missing Peace: Adopting an inclusive approach to peace and security in the SADC region by increasing young people’s participation in peace processes.”
Among the representatives is the deputy information minister, Emma Theofelus, who is also a guest speaker for the session on Governance, Leadership, Political Inclusion, and Youth Policy.