08 Dec 2015 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 08 DEC (NAMPA) - Namibian youth need to work hard to access the wealth of the nation by acquiring better qualifications, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Alexia Manombe-Ncube says.
Before handing over certificates to 16 owners of small businesses who live with disabilities, she explained that acquiring better qualifications will allow the youth to not only seek employment but create jobs for other youth as well.
The jobs are there, but people particularly the youth are not qualified. Since youth unemployment is a major obstacle for the economic growth of Namibia, the government of Namibia has decided to implement different programmes to improve youth unemployment in the country, said Manombe-Ncube during the handing-over event here on Monday.
Manombe-Ncube is tasked with superintending the affairs of those living with disabilities.
She noted that the youth unemployment rate currently stands at 39.2 per cent compared to 41.7 recorded in 2013, adding that while there has been a drop in the unemployment rate, the figure is still high for a nation such as Namibia.
The increase in youth unemployment is mainly attributed to a lack of or low qualifications that would allow people to find employment.
Manombe-Ncube called on the youth to gain skills on how to create wealth for themselves through vocational training and avail themselves for training and programmes which seek to uplift their social status.
The students received certificates after completing a seven-month entrepreneurship training programme at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), aimed at equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to run their businesses successfully.
The graduation comes after the National Disability Council of Namibia (NDCN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NUST, then Polytechnic of Namibia, in 2012.
The MoU is to enable NUST to provide capacity building initiatives to people with disabilities that will enable them to improve their livelihoods and through that be able to participate in the economy.
The businesses range from construction, hair salons, fish shops, mini markets and printing shops to catering, butchery, car rental and jewellery-making undertakings.
The graduates face many challenges in their businesses such as lack of skills, tools and equipment, among others.
One of the graduates, Erastus Iyepa who owns a construction company, described the course as very intensive but informative as he learned about the tender processes.
He has been in the construction business since 2013 and employs two permanent employees and four casual workers.
In Namibia, everywhere you go people ask for qualifications and the certificate will help me a lot in growing my business, said Iyepa.
He wants to make more profit and buy more building materials and equipment.
Another student, Hilya Ithana said that with the certificate, she will get any assistance she needs for her business, adding that she also wants to improve her business by revising its vision, mission and goals.
Ithana owns a hair salon in the capital and employees 21 people. She has been in that business for over five years.
Citing the National Census of 2011, the NDCN said Namibia has 105 000 people with disabilities making up five per cent of the population.