A visiting Kenyan professor says he sees no reason why Namibia must still have unemployed graduates when it has tools such as the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
“We have a blank cheque and what do you have? You have a degree and tomorrow you are on the street rioting that you don’t have a job. Government is telling you about innovation in Harambee. Let us all rise to the occasion. You are lucky. Government has put policies in place, so go out there and develop these policies because if government does it for you then they will put the bar too high,” Professor Peter Wanderi from Mount Kenya University said on Tuesday when he appeared as guest speaker at a public lecture on ‘graduate unemployment’, organised by the International University of Management (IUM).
The public lecture was aimed to serve as the first effort towards a mindset change in job creation by graduates (both employed and unemployed) in Namibia.
Wanderi emphasised a knowledge on mindset that leads to motivation and growth in business, education, sports, politics and leadership.
He said 20 percent of graduates have the potential to be entrepreneurs, but in reality less than 5 percent of them become businesspersons.
“Mindset should target the 20 percent if we embrace HPP. As responsible citizens, we need to ask, what can we do for our country and not what can my country do for me. Rise up and close up the unemployment void as graduates by creating jobs. Awake the sleeping giants in us and strive to be job creators and not job seekers. What do we say about Harambee 2016-2020? Do we care?” the visiting academic implored unemployed graduates.
According to HPP, it is government’s strategic intent to develop and harness the human resource capacity to contribute towards employment creation and SME-driven economic growth, propelled by the youth.
In this regard, Harambee intends to improve micro-SME access to finance from the current 22 percent to 50 percent by 2020.
Despite government’s commitment to ensure graduates are absorbed into the job market, dozens of unemployed graduates took to the streets last week to air their frustrations at being jobless after many years of sacrifice, sleepless nights and huge amounts of money spent on getting an academic qualification.
At least 26 percent of graduates who finish their tertiary education end up unemployed, a tracer study conducted by the National Council of Higher Education in 2011 revealed.
Recently, the former education minister and founder of IUM, Dr David Namwandi, during IUM’s graduation ceremony for 2016 promised to support a Graduate Innovation and Enterprise Academy at IUM, which will help graduates create their own jobs and for others.
A new curriculum and practical course focusing on innovation and entrepreneurial promotion among students is underway.
Wanderi applauded IUM for the initiative, saying such an academy will nurture graduates with innovative ideas and start-up in order to push Africa to the next level.