Second session of JNC commences in capital

30 Aug 2018 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 30 AUG (NAMPA) – The second session of the Junior National Council (JNC) commenced under the theme “Enhancing Partnerships to Strengthen Good Governance in Namibia,” here on Thursday.
Opening the session, Vice Chairperson of the National Council (NC), Bernard Sibalatani explained the JNC program is aimed at demonstrating to future young parliamentarians, the principles of parliamentary democracy through their active participation in parliamentary work such as debating matters of national and regional concern.
“We cannot expect young people to emerge from secondary schools as active citizens if they have no understanding or experience of what participation in democracy means,” he said.
The junior councillors, he stressed, contribute immensely to the deepening of the country’s democracy and is one of the tools for involvement and participation of young citizens in the legislature.
He added that there has been positive response to some of the recommendations adopted by the first JNC, with six out of 11 recommendations that were successfully implemented.
“We resolved to give meaning to our youth council by ensuring that all recommendations adopted are tabled in the House and submitted to the respective ministries for implementation,” he noted.
The JNC adopted several recommendations during its first session last year, including a motion seeking the removal of a clause in the Marriages Act (Act No. 25 of 1961) that allows children under the age of 18 to marry if the minister responsible approves.
Section 25(1) of the Act, while making it illegal for boys and girls under the age of 18 to marry, makes an exception, which gives the line minister the power to authorise a marriage involving an underage boy or girl if it is “desirable”.
Forty-two Grade 11 and 12 learners will sit over two days to debate issues on the effects of cybercrime and human trafficking on the youth, amongst other issues.
The 42 members are drawn from all 14 regions to represent Namibia’s 121 constituencies for two years, with a membership composition balanced between boys and girls.