THE youth in the Kunene Region face multidimensional challenges that require a high–level strategy that is more responsive to the current situation.
The youth unemployment rate that currently stands at 52.2% is a great concern, said Regional Governor Marius Sheya in his State of the Region Address recently.
Sheya identified low levels of education and inadequate skills as contributing factors to the high unemployment rate.
“The youth are the first to experience the consequences of economic changes, demographic imbalances, as well as the effects of the artificial Intelligence and new technologies that are the core of the 4th Industrial Revolution,” he said.
He pointed out that the youth represent at least 53% of the region’s population and are therefore key to the region’s development and societal renewal. “We recognize the necessity of this demographic and supporting their roles in creating a responsible society, the development of community relations, and the establishment of equal choices, and aiming to promote the economic activity of the population and increase their social involvement in order to strengthen their livelihoods,” he said.
Recent figures from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) indicate that the country’s overall unemployment rate dropped slightly from 34 percent in 2016 to 33.4 percent in 2018.
However, the statistics show that the youth are still the most unemployed group in the country with a staggering 46 percent of young people still without jobs. The results also indicate that regional youth unemployment was higher than the national unemployment rate of 33.4 percent in all 14 regions with Kavango East having the highest youth unemployment rate with only 37 percent of young people employed and earning an income.
The Kunene, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions all have more than 50 percent of their youth unable to find employment. Moreover, rural employment increased from around 261 705 in 2016 to around 310 155 in 2018. About 50 000 jobs were created in rural areas from 2016 to 2018, while in urban areas only 3 300 jobs were created. Around 58 percent of the people who were employed in 2018 worked in the informal sector.