WINDHOEK – Namibia’s Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service Erastus Uutoni says the high unemployment rate amongst the youth across the South African Development Community (Sadc) region remains a very explosive situation and a cause for concern.
He made the remarks when addressing the meeting of Sadc youth ministers yesterday in Windhoek.
According to Sadc Secretariat, the youth unemployment rate in Sub-Saharan Africa was at 11.5 percent in 2011.
According to the International Labour Organization, in 2011, three out of four workers were considered to be in vulnerable employment.
Sadc characterised vulnerable employment by inadequate earnings, low productivity and difficult conditions of work that undermine fundamental worker rights.
Thus, Uutoni said one is most thankful to the Sadc Secretariat, which commissioned a situational analysis study on youth innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and participation in the Sadc region.
According to him, the findings force them as governments to pause and reflect on whether the current youth programmes have any positive impact on youth.
“Do the programmes we have in place yield the desired outcome or result? Where do we need to change and who needs to change and how? How can we through various sectors deliver on youth empowerment collectively? We cannot and should not expect positive change if we continue to address youth development the same way year in and year out,” Uutoni remarked.
He urged ministers and senior government officials to carefully dissect the study, the findings and recommendations therein.
He revealed one of the most appreciated conclusions of the study is that Sadc member states can learn from each other, adding they can share knowledge, skills and resources where possible.
Thus, he says keeping a regional database which talks to their achievements, challenges and envisaged activities will make it possible for the region to prosper in their endeavours.
“We need to seriously re-think our approaches towards youth development and youth empowerment. We need to seriously lobby our governments for adequate financial allocation toward the development of the youth sector. I must also indicate that we need to do more with the little budget given to justify the request for further funding,” he said.
One of the agenda’s points for discussion is the overwhelming support for continued vigorous implementation and mainstreaming of the 38th Sadc Summit theme across all member state sectors nationally.
This, Uutoni said is argued against the fact that investing in infrastructure development and youth empowerment immensely contributes to sustainable development.
Uutoni stated this, in fact, is securing a better future for generations to come.
Other issues for Sadc ministers’ decision will be centred on ‘Strategic Policy Dialogue’ and ‘Policy Development and Harmonisation’.
This will be guided by the adopted annotated agenda with recommendations from the senior Sadc governments’ officials who worked on deliberating the matters and other issues are for their discussions and notes.
The meeting of Sadc ministers responsible for youth is under the theme ‘Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development’.
2019-05-24 09:12:05 3 months ago