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Opinion - Unemployment crisis: A wake-up call for Namibia

2021-09-28  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Unemployment crisis: A wake-up call for Namibia
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Oscar Shipuleni

Unemployment in Namibia has hit high levels, with youth and women hardest hit.

New data reveals the unemployment rate in Namibia is expected to reach 36.8% by the end of 2021.

Namibia is an upper-middle-income country, which is rich in mineral resources such as diamond and uranium.

The country continues to suffer from a high unemployment rate. Resources alone are not sufficient to ensure Namibian youth secure jobs.

Corruption and mismanagement of resources make it impossible for government to address the high unemployment rate because resources are diverted away from providing major businesses and services to the citizens.

The government cannot afford to employ all the university graduates. Therefore, private sectors need to be active to reduce the high unemployment rate. The country’s competitiveness is measured in terms of the level of the export or the level of participation in the global market of which private sectors participate the most.

The absence of a powerful private sector in Namibia makes it difficult for a country to reduce the high unemployment rate because private sectors are the major employer and job creators. Job creation is the way out of poverty in most of the developing and emerging countries, including China the world’s second-largest economy, the private sector is the backbone of the new job opportunity.

The government attempts to create jobs through government agencies and state-owned enterprises which are proven to be highly unsustainable.

Private sectors encourage foreign direct investment, which has the advantages of technology transfer, innovation and employment creation.

High unemployment rate and income inequality have become the government’s biggest concerns. The government wants to introduce the Universal Basic Income Grant (BIG) through the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social welfare.

The general public has different opinions about the basic income grant. Some people think that BIG can help people afford the basic costs of living and live a better life.

The BIG will have a positive impact on the economy because it will increase the purchasing power which leads to more money in circulation and accelerate economic growth. To reduce the high unemployment rate, the government needs to change its priorities, the taxpayers’ money is being spent on fruitless activities, such as sustaining politicians’ lavish lifestyles, poor performing state-owned enterprises and high cost of state funerals. Demand-deficient unemployment, which refers to a shortage of jobs relative to the workers currently exists in Namibia, especially among the youths.

There is an excess of labour supply over demand. Companies are not hiring, because Namibian companies’ ability to hire is undermined by economic collapse, which the country has been experiencing in recent years, and it got worse by Covid-19 and the strict labour laws that make hiring more challenging.















2021-09-28  Staff Reporter

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