Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian Inna Hengari this week in the National Assembly stated that youth unemployment in Namibia is more than twice than that of adults.
Hengari stated there are about 576 000 youth in the domestic labour force, of which 265 770 are unemployed.
She noted that these youth roaming the streets without a job represented 36% of youth unemployment by the end of 2018.
“By the end of this year, Namibia is expected to reach 50.3% of youth unemployment. More concerning is that the highest qualification of 226 259 of the labour force is the junior secondary certificate, while those with qualifications account for a mere 93 998 in the labor force,” Hengari added.
According to basic economic fundamentals, youth employment is a key indicator of a country’s development and also determines how fast an economy grows.
These fundamentals state that when a nation’s youth are focused on economic development, that particular nation is more likely to achieve its development goals.
In other words, the youth are the driving force of sustainable socio-economic development and therefore their involvement in the development of a country is paramount.
Therefore, Hengari moved that the August House debate the youth unemployment dilemma in Namibia as well as its ramifications in the short, medium and long-term.
The PDM parliamentarian said this motion seeks for a state of emergency to be declared by the President Hage Geingob to address the youth unemployment crisis.
“The assembly should discuss, debate and agree on long-term and short-term interventions to resolving the youth unemployment crisis in Namibia,” Hengari demanded.
Furthermore, she said the constraint of access to higher education continues to suppress Namibia’s ability to produce the required human capital needed to improve the overall competitiveness.
Also, Hengari presented her motion for the House to also discuss the removal of structural and systematic barriers that block access to higher education for every Namibian, irrespective of socio-economic background to have an opportunity to pursue higher education and consequently a better life.
The young parliamentarian on Tuesday in parliament said she was “surprised, disappointed and flabbergasted” with the content in the third national youth policy that was launched in July 2021 to tackle the country’s youth issues.
“Decision and policymaking must be guided by statistics and data. This policy does not contain a single statistic, and it does not look promising to tackle youth issues in Namibia,” said Hengari.
The policy was themed ‘Mainstreaming Youth Development into the National Agenda’, with a framework to mainstream youth issues. The policy was formulated to guide government, as it intensifies work for youth across four thematic pillars of health and social welfare, education and skills training, economic empowerment and inclusion, and civic and political participation.