Keetmanshoop – The lack of job opportunities and financial access remain the major problems hindering the development of many youth in Namibia.
Keetmanshoop Mayor Gaudentia Krohne, in her address during the official opening of the //Karas Regional Youth Seminar at Keetmanshoop on Monday, pointed out that unemployment and the lack of access to financing for the youth to start businesses as major challenges that young people face.
She said despite the fact that there are several government interventions aimed at uplifting the youth, many are still struggling with the ravages of poverty, unemployment and a general despondency about their future.
She added that due to the many challenges the youth face, they often feel neglected by their leaders, as they feel they are not listened to and are their problems are not addressed: “Our young people don’t feel heard. They feel they are struggling in vain and alone and that we, leaders of today, do as we please without explanation or consultation.”
Krohne further pointed out that due to the challenges the youth face, they are in the end often unable to reach their full potential The town’s first resident called on those responsible to implement policies aimed at youth empowerment to up their game, saying this will give the youth a fair chance for a prosperous future, which will not only benefit them, but their families and the wider community.
“Safeguarding the rights of the youth and investing in their future is not only essential to their development, but also to that of their families and communities,” she stated.
Other speakers during the opening ceremony encouraged the youth to not sit idly waiting for government to offer solutions, but to seek opportunities to improve their lives, warning them that failure to act now and take their chances could result in them regretting the missed opportunities.
The seminar, held under the theme ‘Putting Youth at the Heart of Development’, aimed to bring young people at grassroots level up to speed with transpired during the recently held national seminar.
Youth from all seven constituencies of the //Karas Region will deliberate on various topics of interest, such as education, alcohol and drug abuse, relationships and teenage pregnancies, and will further scrutinise government policies, such as the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
The five-day seminar ends this Friday.