Youth unemployment a threat to stability, says Defence Minister

08 Oct 2014 16:00pm
RUNDU, 08 OCT (NAMPA) - Defence Minister Nahas Angula says the country’s high level of youth unemployment is a threat to social stability.
Speaking during the handing-over of seven Community Skills’ Development Centres (COSDECs) to their centre heads at Rundu on Wednesday, he said Namibia is a youthful country with people below the age of 30 constituting the majority of the population.
There is therefore a ‘youth challenge’ in the country.
Angula, who is also the chairperson of the Community Skills’ Development Foundation (COSDEF) Board of Trustees, said the youth challenge is reflected in youth poverty, youth unemployment and income inequality among the youth.
He cautioned that such a condition has the potential of creating hopelessness and despair among the youth.
According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA)’s report of 2013, unemployment nationally stood at 29.6 per cent, and unemployment between the ages of 15 and 34 was recorded to be 41 per cent.
“Such high levels of unemployment are a threat to social stability,” the minister warned, adding that an unemployed youth is not likely to marry and establish a family, which is the basic unit of any society.
Equally, social hopelessness among the youth is likely to lead to alcohol, substance and drug abuse, and such young people become anti-social and violent.
“Such behaviour leads to gender-based violence and other criminal behaviours,” the Defence Minister stressed.
He noted that every citizen has a responsibility to create hope in the country’s youth, hence the idea of community skills’ development which came about for the purpose of creating conditions for the out-of-school and unemployed youth to access opportunities for skills’ development and the cultivation of entrepreneurial acumen.
The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Namibia availed N.dollars 154 million for the renovation of four COSDECs in Ondangwa, Tsumeb, Otjiwarongo and Opuwo, and the construction of new centres in Rundu, Gobabis and Swakopmund, as well as the construction of an arts and crafts’ centre in Swakopmund.
All the centres have new computer training facilities, industry-related machines, power tools and handtools to ensure full Namibia Training Authority (NTA) accreditation of high-priority skills’ areas.
Four of the centres have dedicated small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) facilities with incubation units, a resource centre and a workshop for large projects or production units.
The compact between the Namibian and USA governments entered into force on 16 September 2009, creating the MCA-Namibia with the express aim of reducing poverty through economic growth.
Three priority areas were selected by the Namibian government for assistance through MCA-Namibia, namely education, tourism and agriculture.