By Anna Shilongo
This year signifies the fourth year of the implementation of the 2004 Swapo Party Election Manifesto, on the basis of which the large majority of Namibians gave a five-year mandate to President Hifikepunye Pohamba and the party.
The mandate is for Swapo to manage the country for a five-year contract on their behalf.
And during 2008, it is expected that the electoral promises of 2004, as translated into policies, action plans, projects and programmes must be urgently brought to their successful practical fruition and successful conclusion before the 2009 elections that would require a new manifesto and a fresh mandate from the electorate.
But despite the implementation of the manifesto, there are still some challenges and expectations in 2008 such as the tabling of the National Youth Service Bill in Parliament, and the Maintenance and Proper Management of Existing Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centres, says the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, John Mutorwa.
During 2008 and beyond, his Ministry is expected to facilitate the contracts of new multi-purpose youth resource centres at Rundu, Gobabis, and Otjiwarongo and at Omuthiya.
“It is our duty to ensure that youth skills and agriculture training centres are productive and fully functional,” he said.
“Now that the senior NYS staff have been appointed, recruitment of the NYS trainees and their subsequent training in relevant technical skills that are needed and demanded by the economy and the market, must now happen, as early as possible,” said Mutorwa.
He said recruitment must be strictly done in terms and in compliance with the relevant provisions of the National Youth Service Act of 2005.
“It is encouraging and refreshing to have physically observed on 14 January 2008, that remarkable, concrete and visible progress is currently being made by the NYS management, staff and trainees, to successfully conclude the relocation of some major NYS activities to Rietfontein,” said the minister.
Mutorwa encouraged his staff to remain committed, focused and determined, to ensure that the tasks, at hand, are soon brought to their logical and planned conclusions.
“Remember one of the operational objectives of the NYS as articulated in the Swapo Party Election Manifesto is to provide a learning environment for the youth, so as to enhance their self-esteem, self confidence, self-discipline, sense of responsibility and ability to identify, analyse and help solve problems.
“We need to provide young people with opportunities for further studies and training to help them become employed or self-employed,” stressed Mutorwa. The minister also sees the need for the sport directorate to endeavour to establish proper formal working relationships with some public institutions such as the regional council and town council.
He is optimistic that this is the only way to ensure development, proper utilisation, maintenance and expansion of sport facilities.
He said construction of sport facilities (stadiums) and urgent finalization of the appointment of senior staff where none exist must continue to receive priority, especially the national sport academy in Windhoek and Eenhana.
He also urged managers to create a conducive environment in their respective divisions.
“As managers, your main responsibilities are to get people to do what has to be done, while keeping them happy in the process by, inter alia talking, to them, listening to them and solving their problems.
We are thus a team – like a sports team, where different members have specific assigned duties but still remain a team, that falters or triumphs, loses or wins, together as a team,” he said.
He said, in this case, they should endeavour to win as a team. Mutorwa made these remarks in his ministerial message for 2008 that he conveyed last week.