Tjongarero bemoans unemployment among youth

By Michael Uugwanga

THE Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero has expressed concern at the high rate of unemployment amongst the youth in the country.

Tjongarero said this at the official launch of a youth self-employment horticulture project at Okahao youth skills training centre in Omusati region.

According to the Namibia Statistics Agency, youth unemployment stands at 39,2 percent , something that Tjongarero has said that her ministry through the Harambee Prosperity Plan is doing its utmost to curb the scourge.

“With 62 percent of Namibia’s economically active population being youth between the age group 15 to 35 years, according to the Namibia Statistics Agency, 2018, Namibia has a bulging young population. Regrettably, 39.2 percent unemployed are youth. It is therefore, 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.

This project responds to the high-level directions outlined in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and calls for the expansion of youth participation in social and economic development,” she said.

Tjongarero also said that the HPP sub-pillar of youth enterprise development has dual objectives to create an enabling environment for private sector entrepreneurial startups and growth-oriented small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs), as well as to facilitate the establishment of youth owned enterprises, through government structures and interventions.

“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 the institutional infrastructure for future interventions in this area. Specifically, over the next years, this project seeks to provide 84 disadvantaged young men and women between the ages 16 and 35 years with access to business development services through horticulture to realise their full economic potential,” she said.