One hundred and nineteen young people last Thursday graduated from Women’s Action for Development (WAD) at Lüderitz after they completed a six weeks training programme at the coastal town.
The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Erkki Nghimtina in a speech read on his behalf by !Nami#nus Constituency Councilor Jan Scholtz, congratulated the new Executive Director of WAD, Salatiel Shinedima who has pledged to carry on the legacy of his predecessor, Veronica De Klerk.
Nghimutina noted WAD has been at the forefront of capacity building and many other community development oriented activities in Namibia for more than 20 years.
He noted significant improvements have been made to the lives of many youth, women and men alike in all the 14 regions across the country.
He further stressed the people of Namibia and the Swapo-led government fully support WAD‘s efforts to uplift the standards of living people in this country through various training intervention in socio-economic and socio-political fields.
Nghimtina further commended WAD for facilitating an event where decision-makers and community leaders where brought together to share information with their communities on important issues of development such as on health, on education, on spiritual matters and many others affecting their daily lives.
Nghimtina indicated the graduates have acquired knowledge in the fields whereby the course curriculum was well designed to meet the current job market requirements and also job creation opportunities through the establishment of small-scale businesses.
Programmes such as this one and several other development programs have benefitted people in other parts of the world, he further elaborated.
Nghimtina is confident some of these graduates will succeed in their projects or to further studies while others will also be absorbed by the local labour market, as long as they embrace the spirit of dedication to work and passion to succeed in whatever they set their minds to do.
Nghimtina pointed out the situation of reducing unemployment in Namibia and especially among the youth and women is at the top of the ministry’s agenda.
Currently the ministry is widely consulting on the appropriate and viable options and strategy for job creation and these consultations will include all level of governance and the local communities. Nghimutina urged the beneficiaries of WAD to make use of their knowledge and skills gained during the training program to the best of their abilities to initiate vibrant community projects.
On his part Shinedima who is WAD’s executive director commended Susan Ndjaleka the Mayor of Lüderitz who he described as a worthy partner in this training intervention at Lüderitz .
Shinedima indicated WAD firmly believes in public-private partnerships (PPPs) and in the same vein he appealed to the //Karas Regional Council, as well as the Lüderitz Town Council, to kindly take the lead in encouraging the students to go to the next level and to connect them to public and private institutions within the region.
This will give the graduates a welcome boost and head-start in their respective careers.
Shinedima also congratulated all the graduates especially Omega Goeieman who attained distinctions in both computer literacy and in office administration, with an outstanding mark of 97 percent in computer literacy and 96 percent in office administration.
Fifty-one students have completed the training course in computer literacy and in office administration, hospitality and tailoring. Sixty eight students from community and law enforcement officers from Lüderitz received training in the contents of gender-related laws, aspects of the Namibian Constitution, on gender based violence and on substance abuse, in order for them to know their rights within those laws. Shinedima stressed the high youth unemployment is a clear indication the labour market is reluctant to employ inexperienced and unqualified young people. According to the 2012 Labour Force Survey youth unemployment in Namibia has an overall rate of 42.8 percent, which is far above the global youth unemployment rate of 12.6 percent.
He raised concern the country imports basic food stuff when the country has enough resources to produce own basic food products in the country.
Shinedima said it is a painful reality when the country import goods from outside the country and jobs to those countries because the manufacturing process of those products is performed by the citizens in other countries.
To reduce the high unemployment rates in the country, he appealed to government to consider introducing an employment wage subsidy program that will focus on reducing unemployment amongst youth and women especially those with low levels of education and experience. He thanked their sponsor Old Mutual Namibia, Nedbank and Mutual & Federal for their valued commitment and financial support towards WAD’s field days for the past nine years.