Youth projects stagnate in the south

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Matheus Hamutenya
Keetmanshoop

//Kharas Regional Governor Lucia Basson says the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service is not doing anything to develop and empower the youth of the south, especially those from her region.

During a consultative meeting with the staff members of the youth ministry at Keetmanshoop on Monday, she expressed disappointment that nothing is being done by the ministry to empower youth in her region, as they remain unskilled, unemployed and wandering in the streets.

“I have a problem with the ministry of youth as there is nothing happening here, what is the ministry doing for the unemployed youth? Nothing!” she said.

The regional head made these remarks after being briefed on the state of affairs of the ministry in the region. She was particularly concerned that there are currently no youth programmes in the region, and no capital projects have been earmarked for the region for this financial year.

“Where are the skills training centres that Jerry [Ekandjo] was talking about when he was visiting the region, is there any single one set up so far?” she asked, referring to previous statements from youth minister Jerry Ekandjo, who envisioned a skills training programme where each constituency will have a training centre where the youth could receive vocational skills.

Basson also expressed concerns over the decentralisation process of the ministry, after hearing that none of the ministry’s main functions have been decentralised to the regions, and that even travel allowances have to be paid from the head office in Windhoek.
She said it is important that some functions are decentralised, to allow for smooth and efficient operations of the regional office, in order to empower the youth.

“I am so disappointed that for such an important ministry, nothing is decentralised and people are suffering with limited resources, at least decentralise the operational budget,” she indicated.

During the meeting the staff members also shared some of the challenges they face such as the lack of transport, while the lack of funds was mentioned as the major factor affecting youth programmes in the region, where many of the youth programmes have almost come to a standstill.

Asmara Kaffer from the department of environmental education said most of the youth programs in the region are on standstill, while workers have problems reaching youth from rural areas as they are banned from travelling outside Keetmanshoop.

Thus rural youth are left out from any youth activities, Kaffer informed the governor.
“Since last year November, we were told to park the vehicles, and we parked them. We are not allowed to travel and work outside town,” she said.

Lack of sport facilities, lack of coordination and team work was also mentioned as some of those factors hindering youth development in the region.

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