By Rev. Paul Muha Is Vision 2030 Achievable With Escalating Youth Unemployment? Namibia attained political independence in 1990 after a long heroic liberation struggle. A new struggle is eagerly waiting for us. That is economical emancipation and nation building. The Namibian government under the leadership of former president Dr Sam Nujoma came up with strategic objective for the future – ‘Vision 2030′ – an authentic mission statement. It is in line with a biblical text that says, “Where there is no vision a nation will perish”; Proverb 29:18. However, I see that we are investing our economy more on material things, i.e. infrastructure development and less on human resources development. Although it is a step in the right direction, we can do more than that, by diversifying our economy and bringing all stakeholders on board. We should have a paradigm shift approach whereby more capital is invested in human resource development. Namibia has vast land, fertile soil for agricultural purposes and huge mineral deposits. But all this is underutilized or mismanaged. Our Namibian population is very small at 1.8 million. If you do research, calculations and graphs you will come to the conclusion that the Namibian economy is capable of feeding and managing a population equivalent of up to 3 million. Yet the ratio of youth unemployment is increasing every year. There are no tangible remedies for it. – Our education system is not delivering the vision 2030 expectation. – Many learners are ending their school careers at grade 10 and grade 12. – Very few learners who qualify for the university, e.g. out of 3 000 learners who sit for grade 12 exams only about 1 000 qualify for the higher learning institutions. – Which means that 60% have no future and only 40% of young people have a stake in our economic development as players. What does this translate into, or mean to us? – It means that every year we are producing 60% unemployed young Namibians who could play a meaningful role for our country. – It is a sad story for vision 2030, if the trend is not reversed. – It is a pity to see young people aged 16-25 sitting idle at home without a concrete future plan, simply because they did not qualify for grade 11 or university entrance requirement. – Let us remember that more than 70% of the Namibian population are young people between 15 and 40 years. Here are some possible suggestions on education 1. A shared vision 2030 from top leaders to the grassroots level – including cleaners and ordinary citizens – must promoted. E.g. what does vision 2030 mean to them; what is expected and what can they do now? 2. Have a total new paradigm shift for the economic allocation of resources, planning and implementation. A higher percentage must be spent on human resources development compared to infrastructure development. E.g. More than 60% of our economy should be directed to human resources development, training, research, lTC, education, agriculture and health. 3. The CCN, NGOs, and parastatals should target a higher percentage of their budget at human resources development and training, with less on infrastructure development. 4. The three above-mentioned institutions should make scholarship funds available to all students who qualify for higher learning institutions to pursue their studies in different fields. 5. All grade 10 learners who fail should be given a second chance to repeat at formal schools. – Namcol can be transformed to offer full-time classes from mornings up to 13h00 to Grade 10 learners. – All grade10 learners who do not qualify for grade 11 should be sent to vocational training centres countrywide. – All grade 12 learners who do not qualify for higher learning institutions can be sent to neighbouring countries or abroad to enhance their skills. They can be trained as assistant technicians, hydro technicians, assistant pharmacists, animal husbandry, forestry or NamPort and airport warders, building construction assistants, land survey assistants, electricity and mineral valuators By doing so, we will invest more on knowledge, which appreciates and our economy will grow. Suggestions on communal farmers and families who are being resettled AgriBank of Namibia should establish an Affirmative Loan Scheme for all communal farmers to borrow an amount from N$5000 up to N$90 000 without discriminating among them on the basis of collateral, because some communal farmers do not have enough property to be used as collateral. The communal farmers’ collateral can be their livestock, mahangu and maize, which they produce. The financing bank and commercial farmers’ expertise should train communal farmers in livestock breeding and financial management. A monitoring system can be put in place so that they can pay back to the fund without difficulties. By doing so we will be equipping previously disadvantaged communal farmers to be on par with commercial farmers. The Redline Zone for animal disease control should be removed, at the same time deploying veterinary inspectors to vaccinate livestock in northern Namibia so that the meat in northern Namibia can be declared disease-free. We must allow communal farmers in the northern and north-eastern regions to export their products overseas without any form of discrimination. In this way, the unemployed youth will be something of the past if tangible programmes are embarked upon to redress the current situation and allow every Namibian a fair chance to contribute to vision 2030. Rev. Paul Muha has written his MBA thesis on Waste management disposal of product and service in Industrial and Corporate institutions in Namibia at ESAMI in Arusha, Tanzania. He is currently the ELCIN chaplain at the University of Namibia. He is the author of two books, namely: (1) Culture and history of western Kavango from 1500-1900 and Finnish mission in Kavango, (2) Understanding the Psychological Mind of a teenager.
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