Edward Kafita, the Swapo Party Youth League Secretary of International Affairs.
WINDHOEK- The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Secretary for International Affairs, Edward Kafita, yesterday said the youth trip to the World Festival of Youth and Students in Ecuador is not a waste of government resources.
“I do not think that it is a waste of money because the national youth plight cannot be equated with money. We have ambassadors and permanent secretaries who have partaken in these events before. How do we now want to victimize [current participants],” he said adding that the event was not started by the SPYL.
Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Jerry Ekandjo, is expected to lead the delegation of 250 youths from across Namibia to Ecuador for the conference that will take place on December 04 to 13. The youths will include those with disabilities and from marginalised communities.
“Such platforms of political education and expression of the Namibian youth are few and far between,” said Kafita who is the national chairperson of the World Festival of Youth and Students.
He said the participation in the festival is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Namibian youths. “This participation allows the youth to consolidate and strengthen their ideological beliefs through interacting with youths of similar persuasion from around the world,” he said.
He defended the spending saying “no money is going to waste,” and that bodies such as the National Youth Council have pledged as much N$400 000 to the event. “We are tired of people sabotaging government initiatives under the Swapo programme. It is sickening to see fellow comrades not wanting government initiatives to succeed. Namibia has been tasked, on behalf of Africa, to honour the Pan-African by the International Organising Committee during the event. Our going there is also in solidarity with the last colony of Africa – Western Sahara,” said Kafita.
The delegation will travel with the national airline, a step that Kafita says brought about differences of opinion in the preparatory committee as it meant that there would be no use of an e-ticketing system through commissions on booking tickets. This also meant that the delegation cut down on costs while flying with the national airline. “I felt we cannot send money to commercial airlines such as South African Airways, while we have our own national airline. Air Namibia is cheaper and it is our own national pride. If we don’t support them, then who will? Some individuals felt using commercial airlines was going to benefit their close allies who own travel agencies,” he alleged.
The festival will be held under the theme “Youth Unite against Imperialism for World Peace, Solidarity and Social Transformation.”
Namibia has participated in all four festivals held since its independence. These were hosted by Cuba in 1997, Algeria in 2001, Venezuela in 2005 and South Africa in 2010. The last World Festival of Youth and Students, which was held in South Africa, brought together 15 000 people and featured workshops, rallies, panels, film shows, music, dance and sports.