A lack of statistics has delayed the work of a National Assembly standing committee in engaging the general public on how best the country can address the shortage of skills among especially rural youth, in a bid to eradicate poverty, improve standards of living and create sustainability.
The motion was moved by Swapo backbencher Veikko Nekundi during the last session and was referred to the committee on human resources and community development for public consultations.
When he tabled the motion, Nekundi noted the high number of hopelessly unskilled youth suffocating in villages and streets across the country and proposed that the House discuss the possibility of the youth being assessed for formal trade skills development programme absorption.
This is in line with the targets and goals of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) introduced by President Hage Geingob as his strategy to drive Namibians out of the dark pits of poverty and hopelessness.
However, speaking to New Era yesterday on the progress made the chairperson of the committee, Bernadette Jagger, explained that a lack of statistics has held the committee back from doing its work.
It was initially expected that the committee would report back to the National Assembly on the views of various stakeholders on the subject when that chamber resumes business next month.
“We were ready and wanted to work during this recess, but we couldn’t do so because of some outstanding issues, like statistics,” indicated Jagger.
“This would have enabled us to finally go into the regions to do what we are supposed to do. I spoke to the director of committee services and we agreed that when the National Assembly resumes we will go to the regions and engage the various stakeholders,” she told New Era.
Although she could not indicate the nature of the required statistics, Jagger was optimistic that she would have them when the next National Assembly session resumes.
Jagger could not provide the timeframe that the committee will spend in the regions for the public meetings but explained that the committee members will be divided into the different regions and hopefully all 14 regions will be covered.
The HPP clearly states that Namibia targets to become the most competitive economy in Africa by 2020 by addressing a number of issues including the provision of quality skills.
The HPP further targets the establishment of 121 enterprises by the rural youth to create much needed income opportunities for rural youth.
The plan also calls for support to small-scale input producers in upgrading their technologies, knowledge and skills and applying best practices.
Also, to plan the process for the National Youth Entrepreneurship Policy to be adopted by the end of this year and coordinate and align essential levers for the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
These include access to funding; access to markets and integration into local and global supply chains; incubation and mentorship; business development services and skills, training and development.