Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Jerry Ekandjo has urged the newly appointed members of the National Youth Council (NYC) board to serve all youth without fear or favour.
He said the members should not only serve the institutions they represent, but the whole spectrum of youth, especially those in the rural areas. The board members, who will serve a four-year term, were officially installed on Wednesday. NYC executive chairperson Mandela Kapere heads the board.
Ekandjo encouraged members to acquaint themselves with the NYC Act, as it provides policy directions on the management and administrative affairs of the youth council.
The board consists of nine members, aged between 16 and 35 years. Apart from the executive chairperson, who is a member by virtue of his office, all board members are appointed by the minister.
Ekandjo said nominees should include a person nominated by the National Federation of Persons Living with Disabilities. Five should be nominated by the General Assembly, which was held in Katima Mulilo last December, of whom at least two must be female.
Two others must be nominated by the ministry of youth, of whom one must be from a marginalised group.
“It would be good if board members know the functions of the NYC Act to drive the car in the right direction. It will be good to do it, so that when you propose amendments, you know the Act well,” he said.
Further, he applauded the youth who have climbed the political ladder into parliament and other high offices. “The current parliament is encouraging because it has young people. Over the years new blood has come in. We are phasing out. As we move forward, you, the youth will be the ones running the government. “Fortunately we have NYC who come together. Namibia will be peaceful since you know each other. It’s not like us, who were sworn in at Independence. We didn’t know each other very well. People were suspicious of each other,” he noted.
He encouraged the board members to meet at least four times a year. The chairperson, at the first meeting of the board, must facilitate the election of a vice-chair from among board members.
The previous board was elected in 2010. Ekandjo also urged the new board to ensure that all 14 regional youth forums are active and that the Act is fully implemented. Ekandjo further advised new board members to regularly attend workshops and to address issues, such as poverty eradication, “in the spirit of Harambee.”