Namibia should change laws to create jobs: Ithete

21 Jun 2016 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 21 JUN (NAMPA) - The Deputy Minister of Finance, Nantangwe Ithete on Tuesday called on Members of Parliament (MPs) to change old laws that prevent Namibia from directly benefiting from its natural resources and creating job opportunities for the youth.
Making his contribution on the debate on unskilled youth to be assessed for formal trade skills development programmes in the National Assembly on Tuesday, the MP stressed that Namibia is rich in natural resources but these natural resources are exported in raw form and sold back to Namibia transformed into products.
He said Namibia should therefore attract direct investors who will set up companies here and manufacture their goods here from the country's natural resources, so as to create employment for young people.
“Namibia is rich in natural resources and we still dance on the old laws that prohibit us from coming up with programmes to create jobs. We export them, why can’t we finish them here?” he asked.
Supporting Ithete, Minister of Economic Planning in the Presidency Tom Alweendo said statistics have shown that the youth are the unemployed and they need extra help.
These youth, he said, are the ones who have dropped out of the education system and are the ones with the least qualifications and skills.
“We need to interrogate them as to why they have dropped out of the school system. While we want to invest in them, we need to do much more while they are in the system,” Alweendo noted.
He said Namibia should therefore continue to emphasise the issue of Early Childhood Development (ECD), which is the foundation of every child's school career.
According to him, children who come from socially disadvantaged communities and have not been through ECD find it difficult to compete with those from socially advantaged communities who have gone through ECD.
Released in 2013, the Namibia Labour Force Survey 2012 quantified Namibia’s unemployment at about 27 per cent, which according to then Statistician-General at the Namibia Statistics Agency John Steytler is very high. Steytler said unemployment among the youth is of great concern as 56 per cent of youth between 15 and 19 years of age do not have a job, while 49 per cent of those between 20 and 24 are also unemployed.