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Opinion - The unemployment rate in Namibia

2022-09-07  Staff Reporter

Opinion - The unemployment rate in Namibia

Seblon Andres

Namibia is among the countries with a high unemployment rate, particularly among youth graduates roaming the streets with their degrees. 

The unemployment rate is widely regarded as one of the key labour market indicators and a good measure of employment creation and participation in economic activities in the country. 

According to the 2018 Namibia Labour Force Survey report, a “lower unemployment rate signifies an economy having the capacity to absorb available people of working age, while a higher rate signifies an economy that is unable to absorb available people of working age”. 

According to the 2018 Namibia Labour Force Survey, Namibia has one of the highest unemployment rates in Africa, and it could reach more than 50% youth unemployment rate by the end of 2022. 

This means more than half of  Namibia’s economically active population does not work, posing major social, political and economic crises - as such, high unemployment can generate devastating effects on social exclusion, crime, economic welfare, erosion of human capital, death, misery and social instability. 

Employment creation provides a direct channel for distributing the benefits of economic growth broadly throughout the population and evidence from around the world suggests that the greater the employment focus, the more effective economic growth becomes in fighting poverty.

A country’s prosperity depends on how many of its people are employed and how productive they are, which in turn rests on the skills they have and how effectively they use their skills. 

Courses at tertiary institutions are overcrowded and the job market is very limited. 

Most of the students at the University of Namibia, International University of Management and other institution are either doing education or nursing. 

More teachers and nurses graduate from these institutions and most of them end up unemployed as the job market cannot accommodate all the graduates. This simply means the more graduates, the more the unemployment rate is likely to be. 

The other factor that may contribute to the high unemployment rate in the country is that most academics are just job seekers instead of job creators. 

Although the precise path to poverty reduction differs from country to country, most developing countries that have dramatically reduced their poverty levels have done so by improving employment opportunities for their population.

The education system is in such a way that it is more based on theories rather than practical ones. If the government wants to mitigate unemployment among our graduates, it should pay more attention and consider the importance of vocational schools.  The reason why African countries are underdeveloped is that they are using education systems that do not address the needs of their people, a system that was created for them by foreign countries. 

Countries such as North Korea China, America, and Russia are ranked with strong economies simply because students are doing more practical and are being taught how to manufacture goods and render services at an early stage. 

Namibia will never be at the same level as these countries unless the government changes the education system that addresses the current and future needs of the country and invests more in vocational schools. 

Unemployment represents a waste of resources, a cost to the economy in terms of lost income, and without jobs, most people are excluded from taking advantage of opportunities created by the economy. 

Not only that the country is failing to create new jobs, but existing jobs are also being reduced. Unemployment is particularly severe and concentrated among those without formal, primary and secondary education. 

Many school leavers enter the labour market unprepared and with expectations that are very different from the realities of the labour market. Thus, many young women and men experience longer spells of unemployment when they look for their first job. 

Unsuccessful attempts to seek work in the formal economy often lead to discouraged youth who eventually end up in the informal sector, where quality, productivity and security are low. 

Namibia has a unique opportunity to invest in the youth capital with the potential for socio-economic benefits. Failure to provide a quality and better education system, and create decent opportunities for a youth-dominated population poses a potential threat to the economic and social stability of the country. 

The government should have different policies and strategies to upgrade the education system that serves the needs of the country and a system that can produce graduates that can create jobs rather than graduates relying on the government for jobs.

 There is no doubt that vocational education has great benefits. Graduates from there also have better standards of living and contribute greatly to socio-economic development by improving infrastructure in the country and coming up with innovations that can create job opportunities and reduce the high unemployment rate in the country. 

In conclusion, the government, institutions and graduates should find alternative ways to solve the unemployment crisis amongst graduates to reduce the unemployment rate and avoid an economic crisis in the



2022-09-07  Staff Reporter

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