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SADC youth to discuss joblessness, other issues

2018-08-15  Pinehas Nakaziko

SADC youth to discuss joblessness, other issues
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WINDHOEK - More than 800 young people across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and 200 representatives from different regions in the country will meet for two days in a meeting titled SADC People’s Summit tomorrow and Friday.

The summit at the Windhoek Show Grounds sees young people discussing and addressing various ongoing challenges affecting them in the sub-region. The SADC People’s Summit will be held under the theme, Towards Social Justice, Youth Empowerment and Affordable Land and Housing for All.

Herbert Jauch of the Economic and Social Justice Trust says the summit has invited youth from different countries in SADC, including youth from forums and groups that are linked to the National Youth Council (NYC) across Namibia. They envisage to come up with possible solutions to issues of concern and affecting them. “The proposed solution from this summit will be summarised in a resolution to be given to SADC secretaries on Friday,” says Jauch.

He adds that during the summit at the show grounds, the youth will be divided into two groups, one discussing youth issues and the other rural women issues in general. “This will be a good opportunity for all the young people from different regions in SADC to come together and discuss issues affecting them, and come up with their own solutions,” says Jauch, adding that young people must not wait for the government to do something for them, but they must stand up for their own rights and do something for themselves.

People’s Summit is made up of a heads of state summit and civil society organisations drawn from labour, students, youth, socio-economic, justice and human rights networks, which gives a voice to ordinary citizens and various social movements, and a continuation of similar initiatives in the past years by the Southern African People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN) social movement umbrella.

“The annual heads of state summit does little to address the ongoing issues affecting the grassroots people, such as access to land for housing, poverty alleviation, corruption and unemployment. That is why the SADC people hold this summit to unite in determining our destiny in all spheres of life by holding our governments accountable for representing our interest and building a better SADC for us,” says Jauch.

Over a thousand delegates from Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Lesotho, Zambia and other countries join the Namibian civil society organisations and activists to continue to demand from their leaders meaningful socio-economic benefits based on the grassroots people’s perspectives.

Tomorrow, various discussion forums, presentations and declarations will be shared in the breakaway workshops that will allow cross-border exchange and cooperation. The envisaged topics will include natural resource governance, labour rights, state of service delivery in SADC, challenges facing rural women, corruption, youth participation in decision-making, decent employment, controlling corporate power, etc.

On Friday, a communique from the People’s Summit urging all member states to strictly adhere to and promote socio-economic justice as they carry out their duties will be officially presented to the Heads of State and Government after a march from the Windhoek Show Grounds to Zoo Park.

2018-08-15  Pinehas Nakaziko

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