WINDHOEK– Namibia youth leader and Vice-President of the Afriyan Namibia, Tikhala Itaye, says she has learned a lot during the three days discussions of the Post Millennium Goals at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City last week.
The discussions were under the theme “Bridging the gap between youth unemployment and global development”. Itaye says at the Millennium General Assembly in 2000, all Heads of States unanimously agreed to work towards the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But it is the people of each country that must come together to take action to see that these goals are achieved. Hence, the conference was about voicing urgent issues that young people are facing and need to be included in the goals. “This coming September, Head of States, including the President of Namibia, will be meeting to endorse the post millennium goals and it’s up to us, young people to hold our leader accountable,” says Itaye.
She adds that some of the main points concluded were that, young people need to play a significant role within their own government system in terms of the implementation of different programmes related to the youths. “There is a need for representation of young people in the government, and not old people representing youth issues because they do not really voice the needs of young people well,” says Itaye. Itaye also quotes a colleague of her’s, James Itana, who had profoundly stated with regards to youth unemployment that, “the concept of entrepreneurship. Governments preach this a lot when trying to address the issue of unemployment but institutions do not support this enough and often institutions have corrupt practices that disadvantage the youth.” With this quote in mind Itaye says the youths need to hold their leaders accountable for the policies and international agreements that have been ratified.
Diplomats also highlighted at the discussions that the success of the millennium goals depends on everyone, not only the government. Every person plays a role in ensuring that they succeed. I have learned so much, the great thing about such platforms is that we exchange ideas and are greatly inspired to further the youth agendas,” says Itaye.
Itaye adds that there was a young man who started a project where he used empty bottles that people throw away to build classrooms for children in rural areas, and this inspired her. “As young people, we need to take initiative for our very own communities. I have been asked to initiate some youth forums in Namibia, which will be funded by the government to get more views from young people on these post millennium goals,” she says.
Itaye adds that she find it rather sad that they don’t really hold such youth forums as often in Namibia to hear their views more on social issues and that is something she look forward to implement in due time.