Kapere calls for review of micro-finance funds

23 Sep 2015 16:50pm


There is a need to review all existing youth enterprises' promotion and micro-finance funds and transform them into one comprehensive youth enterprise support programme.

National Youth Council (NYC)'s Executive Chairperson, Mandela Kapere said this during the launch of the annual National Youth Enterprise Expo 2015 under the theme, 'Youth development, focusing on youth employability, livelihoods and entrepreneurship' on Wednesday.

The expo is scheduled to take place from 14-16 October 2015 at the Oshakati Independence Stadium in the Oshana Region. Kapere noted there is a need to create an innovative framework that encourages employers to provide apprenticeship to younger workers.

"A serious attempt must be made to ensure coordination in dealing with employment issues in Namibia; vertical approaches have failed us and only a multi-stakeholder approach will prove to be feasible in dealing with our unemployment crisis in the future," he said.

Kapere stressed that there is need to address the attitudes of Namibian youth towards enterprise, and encourage them to take that leap of faith in order to start businesses.

He noted that in many African countries, informal enterprises contribute a significant share to livelihood sustainability, before stating that the contribution of the informal sector to the Namibian economy stands at 10 per cent.

Kapere, however, noted that the country is doing very well in terms of creating opportunities for enterprise among Namibian youth.

"I believe that entrepreneurship coupled with vocational training is the most effective way that we can create sustainable and decent livelihood opportunities for young people," he said.

The NYC chairperson called on the private sector, community-based organisations and Government to join hands in comprehensively addressing the issue of youth unemployment in the country.

Speaking at the same occasion, Development Bank of Namibia (DBN)'s Chief Executive Officer Martin Inkumbi noted that a number of young Namibians are unemployed because of various factors such as lack of necessary skills and employment experience to take up the few job opportunities available in the market.

He cited local statistics that average unemployment among the youth is about 42 per cent, compared to the national unemployment rate of 28.1 per cent.

"We also find that young entrepreneurs are unable to access finance to start their own enterprises to generate income and create employment opportunities for themselves," Inkumbi said.

The annual National Youth Enterprise Expo was founded in 1998 with the objective to provide young entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their products and services; exchange ideas; and create business links.

This year's event is organised by the NYC and Junior Chamber International (JCI), and sponsored by First National Bank of Namibia, DBN, Young Achievers, and Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, among others.