The founder of the International University of Management (IUM), Dr David Namwandi, has taken a lead in assisting unemployed graduates languishing in poverty by setting up a Graduate Innovation and Enterprise Academy.
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 frustration at being jobless after many years of sacrifice, sleepless nights and huge amounts of money spent 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 (NCHE) in 2011 revealed.
Namwandi during a recent IUM graduation ceremony pledged to support the Graduate Innovation and Enterprise Academy at IUM to help about 25 graduates create their own jobs so as to be able to help other graduates without jobs.
Speaking to New Era, Namwandi said the David Namwandi Family Trust, which he set up recently, would fund these graduates.
“That is my passion. I will fund them myself through my Trust. I was assisted by other people, so I need to plough back. After a certain period of time when they (the graduates) are doing well, I would like to have the money paid back to the Trust, so we can assist other people as well, but it will be done interest-free,” said the former minister of education.
Namwandi said he wants to create employment through graduates, especially those who find themselves jobless and said he would identify graduates that have bankable project proposals to assist them to strengthen their existing companies, or to establish companies that will create employment for themselves and others.
“It is not really big money, but it will help. We are busy with modalities, such as application forms, which are with our legal drafters. Once that process is done we will then place an advert in the newspapers. There will be a committee responsible for the selection criteria of the students,” Namwandi explained.
Further, he said the Academy is well equipped and ready for its first intake of 25 students, noting that the main emphasis would on IUM students.
The others would include graduates from higher institutions of learning, such as the University of Namibia (Unam) and Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), as well as private institutions.
“We want to make sure they don’t just go out and look for a job. They must also create jobs,” he said, adding that he is specifically considering graduates with Honours degrees in business administration, education, information technology and the management and treatment of HIV/Aids.
“We’re really looking at projects that will have an impact on our country that can create jobs and keep our graduates busy. We’ll continue monitoring these graduates,” he said.