Moulding the youth to become productive citizens…Social Transformation: Part 3

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), which was recently launched by President Geingob is the 5th NDP in the series of seven National Development Plans that are to implement and achieve the objectives and aspirations of Namibia’s long-term vision, Vision 2030.

In sequence, NDP5 will be the third five-year implementation vehicle towards Vision 2030 and will be implemented from the financial year 2017/18 up until 2021/22.

The NDP5 framework is organised around the four interconnected pillars that are founded on the principle of sustainable development namely: economic progression; social transformation; environmental sustainability; and good governance.

These pillars are aligned with Namibia’s commitment to eradicate poverty and inequality as outlined in Vision 2030, the Harambee Prosperity Plan (2016), and the SWAPO Party Manifesto (2014). Additionally, the pillars support the global and continental development frameworks to which Namibia is committed.

These include Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), The Paris Agreement (CoP21); African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).
Within these contexts, Namibia commits itself to enhancing growth and economic diversification while addressing challenges that include a high degree of regulation and a mismatch between the skill levels in Namibia’s work force and the skills demanded by the labour market.

NDP5 identifies five game changers that will move Namibia from a reactive, input-based economy towards a proactive, high performing economy.

The game changers are: increase investment in infrastructure development; increase productivity in agriculture, especially for smallholder farmers; invest in quality technical skills development; improve value addition in natural resources; achieve industrial development through local procurement.
Youth empowerment: Moulding Youth to Become Productive Citizens

Where We Are
The youth population is a valuable asset as they are the successors upon whom a country depends for the continuity of development. The youth population constitutes 37 percent of the population.

Because Namibia is currently undergoing a demographic transition, the country has an opportunity for accelerated economic growth if it can leverage its large number of young workers to help build the economy.
In 2014, youth unemployment was at 39.2 percent. This accounted for 74 percent out of total unemployment and is higher than the youth unemployment in Botswana (33.9 percent), Zambia (25.1 percent) and Malawi (13.8 percent).

In 2014, the Not in Education and Not in Employment or Training (NEET) rate which reflect youth who are not part of the labour force for reasons other than education and training fell from nearly 34 percent in 2013 to 24 percent in 2014, indicating that more youth are enrolling in schools or absorbed in the labour market.
Most youth are not making it through their school years till completion of at least Grade 12. In 2012, only a quarter of learners were registered in Grade 12 compared to the number that was registered in Grade 1 in 2002.

Desired Outcome
By 2022, youth are empowered and have adequate opportunities to actively participate in the economy and the youth development index has increased from 0.49 in 2013 to 0.58.

Challenges
Access to productive assets, capital, land and skills affects progress in youth empowerment. HIV prevalence rate is still high at 16.3 percent and 2.3 percent for age group 15-19 and increasing to 22.8 percent between the ages 30-34.

Further, teenage pregnancy persists as the proportion of teenagers who have had a live birth rises rapidly with age, increasing from 3 percent at age 15 to 27 percent at age 19.

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