When President Hage Geingob announced his team of advisors on Monday, the one name that perhaps surprised many was that of Daisry Mathias, who would be advising the President on youth matters.
With Mathias’ appointment, Namibian youth would for the first time have a one-step access to the president – through this youthful advisor.
Social networks have been abuzz with questions of who Mathias is – and whether she possesses the required acumen to advise Geingob correctly on youth matters.
Having no history in serving on known youth organisations in the country only helped fuel questions on whether she was the right appointee for the delicate job.
However, her appointment has been hailed by observers who are of the opinion that she would bring an element of neutrality on a stage dominated by politics, and would see youth matters through a neutral lens.
Her exact new title is Presidential Advisor: Youth Engagement. Her role will be to facilitate dialogue and identify solutions to the socio-economic challenges facing the Namibian youth.
Described by many as an introvert, Mathias comes highly recommended. Her professional experience ranges from advertising, digital and social marketing, public relations and export promotion.
After holding various positions in the finance industry, she was last appointed to serve as CEO of Team Namibia, a position she holds to date. Team Namibia is a Section 21 company established to help Namibians advance their own economically sustainable future by promoting the use of local products and services.
The 29-year-old is also an active part-time lecturer at the Polytechnic of Namibia and editor of the Namibia Business Journal.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Gordon Institute of Business Science from the University of Pretoria.
She steps down as Team Namibia CEO on July 15, 2015, to assume her new role.
Her appointment comes at a time when many Namibian youth continue to struggle to make ends meet, such that even those employed barely make it to the next pay day because of the high cost of living in the country.
Mathias faces several challenges as she begins her work, with observers indicating that she will need a robust outreach strategy to coordinate with all youth organisations.
The Namibia Labour Force Survey 2013 indicated that 41 percent of the youth in the country are unemployed.
Youth unemployment was attributed to a lack of or low qualifications that would allow people to find employment.