Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says the statements being made in some quarters that today’s African leaders are wary of the African youth, and do not want to give them leadership reins, agitate the youth and are an attempt to distract them from the development agenda.
“Such statements are meant to agitate African youth, make them angry and eventually make them divert their focus from the African development agenda,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah during the celebration to mark the 54th African Day anniversary in the capital last week Thursday.
Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also the minister of international relations, told the gathering that African leaders are aware of the many challenges facing the continent, including the high level of unemployment among youths.
“Unemployment forces many youths to leave the continent in the hope of finding better opportunities in other continents,” she said, adding that in their quest for employment outside the continent many young people have lost their lives trying to cross the oceans to Europe.
She said as a mitigation factor to unemployment, African leaders have recently developed a migration strategy that focuses on economic development with the aim to create jobs for the continent.
“To operationalise this programme, Africa has decided that at least to start with, 25 percent of Africa’s raw materials should not leave the continent unprocessed.”
She also asked that African experts write on African philosophies and true African accounts to pique the interest of African people on issues that are truly African.
“As of late there are many books on future African development … but they were written by non-Africans as Africans do not write,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
“But the most important point to note is that those books will be the reference materials for our young people. That will mean others will guide Africa’s development and of course the result will be in their (non-Africans’) interest.”
Nandi-Ndaitwah also used the opportunity to call on Namibian young people to be positive and work hand in hand with the government to eradicate poverty. She said the government is working to continuously strengthen governance architecture.
“We believe accountability and transparency are important to increase the trust levels between all stakeholders in a democratic society,” she said. Africa Day is celebrated annually on 25 May on the African continent to mark the formation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963 and the African Union in 2002, which was created to foster unity in Africa.
The day was celebrated this year under the theme ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend, Through Investments in Youth,’ at the Katutura sports youth complex.
Those in attendance included African and foreign diplomats, the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Jerry Ekandjo, National Youth Council executive chairperson Mandela Kapere, Mayor of Windhoek, Muesee Kazapua, and Governor of Khomas Region, Laura McLeod-Katjirua.