KEETMANSHOOP – The youth in //Kharas raised concerns that they are not being duly considered for assistance towards uplifting their socio-economic circumstances. They said this during a question/answer session at President Hage Geingob’s recent town hall meeting in Keetmanshoop.
Spokesperson Vivian Cloete in her address spoke out against commercial banks’ reluctance to financially assist potential young entrepreneurs.
“We have no funds to start businesses with and banks are turning us away even if we submit sound business plans,” she said.
Cloete suggested that banks have policies allowing for investments in young entrepreneurs. She added that areas like entrepreneurship training, financial literacy, actual funding and the process of monitoring and evaluation should be included in a proposed youth development programme which can preferably kick off in 2020. “There is furthermore a monopoly of wealthy elite in the region who purchase urban land, then service and develop it for purposes of selling these properties at high profit,” she said with concern. This, in the end, makes it impossible for the youth to acquire urban land, she reasoned. Cloete further suggested that the National Housing Enterprise consider including all income groups to become homeowners.
“In addition, government should come up with a funding scheme for the youth to be able to afford housing whereby 10 out of every 100 houses built should be allocated to them,” she suggested.
In terms of the country’s resettlement policy the spokesperson recommended that the criteria for qualifying to be resettled be reviewed to include the youth.
“Alcohol and drug abuse has now stuck out its head at primary school (children older than 10 years) level as an evil which needs serious action,” Cloete said. She urged all stakeholders such as law enforcement agencies, government, the community and churches to come up with drastic measures in this regard.
Responding to the youths’ concerns Agnes Tjongarero, Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service informed the audience that 121 youths in rural areas recently received training on business skills and entrepreneurship.
“In addition, we are continuously training the youth at the National Youth Service centres, even though not all of them at once but we are at least trying,” elaborated the deputy minister. Tjongarero further explained that the National Youth Council has a credit scheme in place whereby young unemployed people with sound business plans can apply for loans to start small businesses and employ fellow youths.
During the feedback session, President Hage Geingob advised the youth to be more creative and not only be job seekers waiting for somebody to employ them.
“If commercial banks are reluctant to financially assist potential young entrepreneurs, then this is something that should to be looked into,” Geingob instructed his delegation. Daisry Mathias, presidential advisor on youth matters and entrepreneurial development assured the youth that government would remain committed to follow up on all their concerns with the relevant ministries and provide feedback accordingly. “Stay focused and concentrate on the change you want to be since that will keep you away from substance abuse,” she advised.