WINDHOEK – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Namibia and the Namibia National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding in the areas of innovation targeting young people.
The areas of cooperation between the two institutions include innovative platforms on adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health, including gender-based violence (GBV), sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHRs) and HIV/AIDS.
They will also support innovative programmes to raise the aspirations of young people, especially girls, through empowerment and to coordinate and co-host national and regional interdisciplinary training workshops related to research and innovation in population studies.
The UNFPA country representative, Dennia Gayle, said partnerships are important in order to provide best quality support. Through the MOU, young people would be afforded a platform to share innovative ideas.
“We cannot do business as usual. We have to think outside the box,” said Gayle. In Namibia, 66 percent of the population are young people under 30 years old and they should be given the platform to be innovative in addressing some of the challenges such as GBV and HIV, added Gayle.
The acting CEO of the NCRST, Enid Keramen, also spoke at the event. “We’re excited in the meaningful role we are tasked to play,” said Keramen. The areas of cooperation between the UNFPA and NCRST are relevant to the work of NCRST because the issues of the youth and women are “close to our hearts because they are national issues”, said Keramen.
The terms of reference of the M0U would be finalised within one month and focal people as well as a joint steering committee to implement the MoU have been identified.