The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in Omusati handed over equipment to 46 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on Friday as a means to fight poverty and create jobs for unemployed youth. The unemployment rate in Omusati is estimated at 22 percent.
The handover included machinery for various vocational trades, such as hospitality, fabrication and welding, among others. The equipment is valued at about N$300 000 in total. Apart from the equipment handover, a group of youth also received certificates of training attendance for various courses that lasted from three days to three weeks.
Speaking at the handover, Governor of Omusati Region Erginus Endjala appealed to the recipients to work towards growing the Namibian economy. “What is expected from you is to work harder so that you create more opportunities for others when you grow your business to an entity that will really make a meaningful impact in the Namibian economy,” said Endjala.
Also speaking at the event, National Council Member and Councillor for Anamulenge Constituency Werner Kalipi said employment creation is a positive initiative that can help close the poverty rift. Kalipi advised the recipients against re-selling the machinery, stressing that they remain government property.
He said the ministry would constantly monitor the machinery to ensure it is used for its intended purpose. He said those who in the long run cannot keep to the agreement should return the machinery to government so as to ensure it is given to another beneficiary.
Speaking on behalf of the trainees, Rauna Shaanika described the three weeks’ training as an eye-opener that was well designed to equip them with relevant business skills. “The course was well designed, specifically to eliminate the poverty of skills we have endured for too long,” said Shaanika.
The group was trained through a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Gender Equality and Social Welfare and Cosdec Ondangwa. Shaanika also vowed to apply for government tenders and to win back the economy from the foreign-dominated industries and encouraged Namibians to buy local products.
Amukwaya David, owner of a panel beating business in Tsandi, said the machinery will aid in extending his business and can help create new job opportunities for other youth. “I’m excited. In the long run I will be able to employ more people. My business has grown from two employees to four at the moment,” Amukwaya boasted.