Are the youth relevant in Namibia?
Namibian youth are willing to get involved in the economic developmemnt of the country.
Mandela Kapere, the executive chairperson of the National Youth Council of Namibia has said.
Spaking on the sidelines of the National Youth Week which ends today, Kapere says the issue is whether they are given the opportunity and the space to be involved.
“Mostly in politics and job markets, the space is not there for the youth but I think they are ready,” the youth leader asserts.
Kapere said the Namibian government is trying its best to give the youth the opportunity they need for developing the country through different youth programmes which involve youth organisations such as the NYC.
He also says the Namibian youth are actively involved in the African youth charter on continental level.
“But I think the efforts undertaken are not enough and the problem is that people do not understand what I call the ‘Youth Demographic Bulge’ whereby we have more young people than elderly in Namibia. Within 10 to 15 years this number is going to increase drastically and this would be a problem for the economic development of the country.
“This will be a problem because our institutions and Government are not prepared for that change if it comes to resources, planning and so on. We have to understand the demographic trait and change that will take place and be ready to accommodate them,” he advises.
Kapere warns that if the youthful population grows this fast, the challenges will be on how the country plans, for example the health sector since most people dying of HIV/Aids are young.
He says by the time the “youth explosion” happens, the health sector should be prepared to cater for the increase in the number of people that will need to use health facilities for treatment.
The Education sector, he said, must also be responsive to the increase as more youth by then will want to go to tertiary institutions while the country will not have enough institutions of higher learning to cater for everyone.
He further notes that the general problem of the education will not improve if we keep on blaming each other.
“We should come together and help each other to find solutions for the problem in the education system under a social combat to agree on and find solution.
“As from the NYC, we have learnt a lot during the past four years. We have brought Namibian youth together. Our whole aim is to promote unity among the youth by bringing together youth from all corners of the country. We highlight the role of young entrepreneurs and why it is important for Namibia to have entrepreneurs.
“The annual Youth Expo has been a success over the years and this year we come up with new programme called intercultural learning whereby each region will be ask to present something about their region,” Kapere said.