THE unemployment rate remains high in the country of which 62% of the total population resorts under the youth bracket.
The Minister of Sport, Youth, and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero, said that 39% of the youth are unemployed during the launch of the youth self-employment project in horticulture held at Onkuni B village in the Ondangwa Rural constituency on Thursday.
She said Namibia, currently has only 23% of youth that are employed which remains a concern for the government.
According to Tjongarero said it is the government’s strategic intent to develop and harness this human resource capacity, to contribute towards employment creation and self-employment driven economic growth, propelled by the youth.
Moreover, Tjongarero stated that the objective of this self-employment project, particularly horticulture that we are launching today is to increase the skills, productivity, and income potential of today and tomorrow’s out of school youth in peri-urban and rural areas, by testing cost-effective and scalable market-based solutions to strengthen micro-entrepreneurship opportunities and to build institutional infrastructure for future interventions in this area.
She said over the next few years, this project seeks to provide 84 disadvantaged young men and women between the ages of 16– 35 years with access to business development services through horticulture to realize their full economic potential, whereby more youth will take up this opportunity and scale it up to all constituencies.
“We all know that young people want to start businesses, yet the established business rate among adults is substantially higher than it is for youth,” she said.
Tjongarero indicated that young people face higher barriers to entrepreneurship than adults and they know that youth-led enterprises also primarily employ their peers that could potentially catalyze more quality job creation in an enabling environment hence the Ministry felt the need to ensure that youth self-employment project is established and strengthened to ensure that young people become self-reliant.
The Ministry of Sport, Youth, and National Service availed an amount of N$15 million to the National Youth Council to fund horticulture projects in all the 14 regions.
Speaking at the same occasion Oshana regional governor Elia Irimari, said the youth program has the potential to improve the lives of young people in the Oshana region and across the country it offers the opportunity to develop new horticulture ideas that will lead to new jobs and a new competitive edge in the agricultural sector.
“In the Oshana region, agriculture is our priority sector. We are committed to agricultural development and food security,” said Irimari.
Irimari noted that they realised way back that time has come for them to invest in food production and stop relying on food importation from other countries.