By: Fransina Nghidengwa
The Namibian economy will be hard pressed to absorb the over 1,000 Namibian asylum seekers in the United Kingdom that will soon be deported back into the country.
These were the views of International Relations analyst Marius Kudumo as around 90% of Namiban asylum seekers in the UK are set to be deported after their applications were rejected. This was revealed by the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation.
The British Home Office has since proposed cooperation to develop a mechanism to commence with the deportation programme.
The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation has since sent out an invitation to its stakeholders for a meeting on the repatriation of these Namibians.
In 2021, world data shows that there were 191 asylum applications received from citizens from Namibia in other countries. The most successful have been the applications in the United Kingdom.
“Many of the people that are currently in the country are struggling. Unemployment is high in the country, especially amongst the youth. Some of them might have left for opportunities. Obviously if they are coming back and they have left for opportunities they are going to find themselves in the same situation. I don’t think currently the economy can absorb them. That’s why the support for other alternatives, formal employment has become difficult,” Kudumo pointed out.
He further argued that the support that is being provided to small and medium enterprises and individuals involved in various activities, especially the informal economy, needs to be relooked.
“They need to be supported.”
He said he cannot see how the economy can absorb these asylum seekers in a country facing unemployment after Covid-19 had contributed to job losses.
“When other people from other countries come into other countries, they assume they are taking away opportunities from them therefore those that are responsible for allowing the asylum seekers and others to come into their countries are likely to be more stringent than it was the case previously, because of the political pressure that are in the other countries.”
He also argued that when an economy is not performing to affect the life of people, in general people begin to look for scapegoats, hence the current situation.
Last year, the British High Commissioner to Namibia, Charles Moore said Namibian asylum seekers in the UK are abusing that country’s systems.