ONGWEDIVA - Swapo Party Youth League’s newly appointed chairperson of leaders assigned to Oshikoto region, said he will prioritise youth access to business funding as a quest to fight unemployment.
Willem Amutenya said young people are encouraged to start businesses to fight unemployment and poverty but they are unable to access credit facilities as banks demand collateral which startup businesses do not have.
The newly elected chairperson noted that because of their financial backgrounds, many young people do not have properties to offer as collateral.
“Their businesses do not qualify for bank loans. The policies around financial support need to be reviewed because they are anti-startups and only favourable to well established businesses. And those that are established are not young people. The access to loans and other facilities needs to be reviewed because they are limited,” said Amutenya.
He wants some loans to go exclusively to young people who are just starting their businesses.
“The conditions attached to the loans are demoralising young people and making them opt to look for jobs first, which will not resolve the issue of unemployment. You can secure a job but unfortunately there will not be any jobs for others,” said Amutenya.
He believes the young people who are already in businesses also need to be assisted to make sure they get to the national and international market.
“We cannot fight unemployment when we are not strengthening entrepreneurship,” emphasised Amutenya.
He further added that his office has discussed how best they can ensure that young people in Oshikoto are encouraged to get into business.
His office is planning on reviewing how many young people have benefited from small and medium enterprises funds provided by Agribank or the National Youth Council.
“We are going to review those records to find out who are the beneficiaries from the region and find out how many young people have been rejected from these funds and why,” said Amutenya.
As the leadership of Oshikoto, Amutenya wants to ensure that a large number of youth benefit from these funds and advocate that the youth is provided with the right information to access funds.