08 Oct 2018 14:00pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 08 OCT (NAMPA) Unemployment amongst the youth is a critical issue in Namibia and to address this requires a concerted and joint effort from all stakeholders in the country, Keetmanshoop Mayor Gaudentia Kröhne has said.
Kröhne was speaking at the price-giving ceremony of the //Kharas Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (KYEDP) here on Saturday.
The KYEDP is an initiative established by local youth that aims to address youth unemployment in the region and also to encourage an entrepreneurship culture among young people.
She said Namibia has one of the youngest and fast-growing populations in Southern Africa, of which 62 per cent of working adults in the country are between the ages of 14 to 34 and regarded as youth.
This youthful population constitutes a crucial resource but without sufficient job prospects, these are resources that will remain untapped, she said.
Kröhne added that 43.4 per cent of Namibian youth are unemployed, which is nearly three times more than the global average.
High rates of youth unemployment represent both widespread personal misfortunes for individuals and lost opportunity for critical national and global economic development while high numbers of economically frustrated youth may also contribute to social instability, she added.
She further said that one of the cited solutions to unemployment among youth is entrepreneurship and self-employment, since it offers young people the opportunity to break out from unemployment as it is evident that traditional education falls short of providing young people with basic skills they need to succeed in business.
Insufficient emphasis is placed on the development of these crucial skills, to prepare young people for victory in todays rapidly changing and globalised world, noted Kröhne.
She expressed belief that programme such as KYEDP guarantee that the young people who take part will not be counted amongst the unemployed, as they now possess a set of skills that enable them to navigate through life successfully and making a success of their business.
Thirty youth from the region took part in the week-long entrepreneurship training, which was concluded with a pitch competition on Saturday.
During the competition, the group presented their business ideas to a panel of judges of which the best idea won prizes.
Speaking to Nampa on Monday, KYEDP group leader Annelien van Wyk said out of the 30 that entered the competition, eight were already business owners and 10 people won prizes.
Van Wyk said two walked away with the first prize of N.dollars 15 000, second prize was N.dollars 7 000, third N.dollars 5 000, fourth prize was N.dollars 3 000 and fifth was N.dollars 2 000.
The funds were availed by the Anglo-American Namibia Foundation.