Ghana/Namibia: Penplusbytes trains youth on Ethical Video Production under MiL Youth Project

As part of efforts to promote Media and Information Literacy in Ghana, Penplusbytes and DW Akademie is training some selected youth groups across the country on how to effectively produce videos to tell compelling stories.

The three-day intensive workshop which begun on October 16, is aimed at equipping young people with the prerequisite skills to produce and edit video contents that are ethical, well-informed and engaging using new digital technologies and software applications.

The workshop is being facilitated by experts from the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) and some top-notch broadcast media houses in Ghana.

Topics such as Planning for Video Production, TV/online News Gathering, Ethical Video Production characterized the first session of the training and they are expected to cover other areas such as Basic Camera Movements, Visual Communication Techniques as well as Video Editing with mobile phone applications by the end of the third day.

Prior to the video production workshop, Penplusbytes in partnership with DW Akademie last month, trained over forty youths in the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions on information verification dubbed ‘Fight the Fake!’The aim of this workshop was to expose the youth to the realities and the negative implications of fake news, misinformation, cyber-bullying and the need to critically assess and evaluate media content especially those online.

In addition, Penplusbytes and MiLLi Namibia on September 30, 2019 launched the “Ghana/Namibia Show and Share Video Competition” which requested the youth between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five to share their social media experiences in a one-minute 30 seconds video.

Three entries in Ghana and three in Namibia, judged to be the most creative and original videos will be awarded with iPhones and other mobile kits to enable them produce quality and exciting videos that speak to the needs of the youth in Ghana and Namibia.

According to the Executive Director of Penplusbytes Juliet A. Amoah, young people are faced with new realities when it comes to using and participating in media and social media hence, the need for Penplusbytes as a tech-based organization to help them navigate through this emerging area.

“Penplusbytes wants to be at the forefront of MiL interventions in Ghana because we believe that young people need to efficiently produce, consume and utilize media content,” she said.

Deputy Director and Head of Programmes, Mr Jerry Sam said that the Video Production Workshop, the Fight the Fake youth training and MiL experts’ round table discussions planned for the coming weeks are a precursor to the celebration of the Global Media and Information Literacy Week slated to take place from October 24 to 312019.

The theme for this years’ Global Media and Information Literacy Week is MiL Citizens: Informed, Engaged, Empowered.

Source News Ghana

NAMIBIA: YOUTH WANT VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PRIORITISED

THE country’s education system is theory-orientated, and places limited emphasis on vocational education, thereby hampering youth skills development, a recent study has found.

The study stated that the inclusion of more technical subjects to give pupils a wider range to choose from through aptitude tests will help determine diverse career paths.

The parliamentary standing committee on human resources and community development revealed this in its study on youth skills development and unemployment.

The report, which gauged the employability of the youth in various regions across the country, was conducted between May 2017 and June 2018.

It found that the Zambezi region tops the list of unskilled youth, followed by the two Kavango regions.

The committee also found that there are no vocational training centres in the central //Kharas region, and it’s too costly for the community to send children to Lüderitz in terms of transport, accommodation and fees.

“Although there are a University of Namibia satellite campus at Keetmanshoop as well as the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology, the training costs remain too high,” the committee found.

The community requested the ministry of education to reintroduce practical subjects to enable the youth to employ themselves after high school, and to generate income to sustain themselves.

“The ministry of education should reintroduce practical subjects like sewing, carpentry and agriculture,” the community demanded.

The //Kharas community also indicated that the distance to the Namcol centre situated at Keetmanshoop is making it difficult for the largely rural youths to access.

//Kharas also has a number of mines, but the youth don’t benefit a lot from them as more entry-level posts are filled by people from other regions, with a lack of skills and nepotism being blamed, the community revealed to the committee.

The youth furthermore urged the ministry of education to make it a requirement for mining companies to employ a certain number of locals, and to make the training of youth in various aspects of mining part of their corporate social responsibility.

The youth informed the committee that the private sector can play a vital role in solving the skills and jobs mismatch by designing training courses required by the market, as opposed to the status quo where tertiary training centres set up the training courses.

“The private sector needs to be involved in the design and implementation of training courses as a way to overcome the shortages of skills,” the //Kharas youth urged.

The committee found that Koës, also in //Kharas, has no secondary schools, no youth centre, and a large number of unqualified primary school teachers.

The youth there bemoaned the fact that there are no alternatives for Grade 10 dropouts, and highlighted factors which worsen the lack of skills amongst the youth.

The committee found that 64% of the Koës community is illiterate, while the lack of proficiency in English as the official language in the country is dashing their hopes of success in everything they try out.

The community thus pleaded with the village council not to charge a lot for them to utilise empty buildings in the village for various entrepreneurial activities.

Meanwhile, the youth in the Hardap region echoed similar sentiments that the government should bring back technical subjects in schools as not everyone is academically gifted, and some want to explore their vocational abilities at school level.

The Hardap youth demanded through the committee that the “curriculum be upgraded at least after every year, and technical qualifications be recognised by the qualifications authority”.

They also informed the committee that they need Nust and Unam satellite offices in the region, as their parents cannot afford accommodation and transport costs to Keetmans­hoop.

The youth likewise asked the government to review the requirements for agricultural and technical training so that more youths can have access and participate in these courses.

OMAHEKE, GOBABIS

In Omaheke, the youth want the government to increase its budget, noting that more is needed for one to acquire market-related skills as they cannot even afford training to write comprehensive business plans for their ideas.

“When we have vacant positions in the regions, most of the local youths do not have the necessary skills, and then people from other regions are appointed,” the community revealed to the committee.

The community condemned the high costs as well as high requirements for Cosdec and other vocational training institutions, as the majority are farmworkers and don’t earn enough to send their children to higher educational institutions. The Omaheke community recommended that a Kayec type of practical training programme be rolled out extensively as they have lower requirements. The standing committee, chaired by Liina Namupala, submitted the recommendations based on their regional findings to Cabinet.

According to the Namibian Statistics Agency’s 2018 survey, youth unemployment (46,1%), which is only 3,9% away from affecting half of the youth population in the country as the economy, policies and structures struggle to place them.

The NDP5 (2017 to 2022) plans on reducing the youth unemployment rate from 46,1 % to 33%, the national unemployment rate from 33,4% to 24%, and the rural unemployment rate from 45,8% to 20% within two years.

Source The Namibian

Youth are valuable assets that need protection – //Hoebes

By Neweralive.na (Aletta Shikololo)

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Namibia’s young people, who make up the majority of the country’s population, should be regarded as human capital assets that the country has to protect, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Christine //Hoebes has said.

Speaking at the breakfast meeting with the diplomatic community and international organisations on Wednesday, //Hoebes said the youth are regarded as the agents of change, the future and an inspiration.

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“Across the globe we are seeing the youth taking responsibility for their future and holding us accountable for the decisions we make today. Closer to home, the Namibian youth are advocating for social justice and an opportunity to make a difference. It is in this context that we’ll discuss the UN Youth Agenda and how it relates to the Namibian and African youth agendas,” she said.

“Ours is to work together (among ourselves and to work together with the youth) to present the youth with opportunities to allow them to continue to work towards enhancing sustainable development and the attainment of Vision 2030,” she said.

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The meeting was also aimed to provide an overview on the status of youth, building on the recent SADC Ministers responsible for Youth and the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF), for further cooperation on the youth agenda.

In her opening remarks, United Nations Resident Coordinator Rachel Odede said the closed-door meeting would discuss issues related to the youth.

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‘The youth are our leaders of tomorrow, and they are multipliers of sustainable development,” she said.

Quoting UN Secretary General António Guterres when he launched the UN Youth Strategy last September 1, Odede said: “If we are to create a more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous world for all to fulfil the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we need young people to lead.”

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She said it is against this background that through maximising collective comparative advantages, “we hope to propose a way forward on this important agenda”. Odede expressed strong appreciation to the government and the diplomatic community for making quality time to join the UN system in Namibia to collectively deliberate on the issues at hand.

“We very much value the dedication and efforts to ensure that no one is left behind and our commitments towards achieving the Agenda 2030 are implemented in a timely, efficient and effective manner, for the benefit of our people,” she said.

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The meeting was attended by, amongst others, presidential advisor: Youth Matters & Enterprise Development, Daisry Mathias and the National Youth Council (NYC) chairperson, Mandela Kapere.

Namibia Youth Unemployment Rises By 2.7 Percent

Namibia’s youth unemployment rate for 15-34 year old bracket has risen by 2.7 percent from 43.4 percent in 2016 to 46.1 percent last year, the 2018 labour force survey results released Thursday showed.

Speaking at the event of the release of the survey, Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni said the country still had a lot to do to reduce unemployment especially among the youths.

“Unless we do something serious, the trend will continue to go up,” he said.

According to the survey, overall unemployment reduced slightly by 0.6 percent from 34 in 2016 to 33.4 percent in 2018.

“There was no significant difference between the figure of 2016 and the one of 2018,” he said.

Youth unemployment in Namibia has been on an upward trend since 2012, rising from 37.8 percent to 43.4 percent in 2016.

Source Xinhua

Namibia encourages young people not to despair

By Correspondent

Speaking during the belated Namibia’s 29th Independence Day celebration at Mavandje village in Ncuncuni Constituency over weekend, Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausiku encouraged young people not despair because of high level of unemployment in the region. She further urged those in school to focus on achieving their education goals.

“Parents should encourage their children to finish school because education is the greatest equaliser in any society,” said Ausiku.

“My office have started engaging the youth leadership in the region to come up with ideas on how to address the unemployment. Together with the Regional Youth Forum, we want to identify youth leaders in all eight constituencies to be champions of developmental initiatives in their respective constituencies.”

According to New Era Live, the governor said that during the upcoming Nkurenkuru Expo in June this year, her office is planning to come together with the youths for two days to develop the Kavango West Regional Strategy on how to address youth unemployment in the region.

During the occasion, Ausiku also noted that since the creation of Kavango West Region and Ncuncuni Constituency in particular in 2013, a lot has been achieved. She said that at regional level, although the then Kavango Region had two towns Rundu and Nkurenkuru, all public and private services were set up in Rundu. Offices, ministries and agencies were operating from Rundu and the same can be said about financial institutions such as banks and other institutions.

However, since the creation of Kavango West, these services are now set up in Nkurenkuru which is the regional centre. “This brought development closer to our people. New jobs were also created and we are seeing positive impact on the livelihood of our people. According to the Namibia Labour Force Survey of 2018, the regional unemployment rate was at 36.4 percent in 2016 and 33 percent in 2018,” she said.

Although Ausiku is happy that the creation of her region is starting to show some positive developmental signs, she said the region still remains among the poorest in the country.

“The region remains concerned with the youth unemployment that according to the Namibia Labour Force Survey stands at 46 percent in 2018. Therefore, we must now put our heads together to come up with ideas on how to address this challenge facing us,” she noted.

Now to address the developmental aspect at the level of Ncuncuni Constituency, “We are witnessing developmental programs and projects taking place in our constituency since its creation. We can list many projects like the construction of Sikanduko road, the construction of Ncaute and Gcwatjinga Primary Health Centres, the expansion of classroom blocks at Mavandje Senior Primary School and Shinguruve Junior Primary School to mention but a few,” she said.

Source African Daily Voice

Namibian youth learning Chinese for more opportunities

By Xinhua

Namibian youths are embracing Chinese to seize opportunities coming with the robust bilateral ties between Namibia and China.

Jacobina Aumbandja, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Namibia (UNAM), registered for a Chinese language course at the Confucius Institute in the University in Windhoek in February 2017.

“Interest for the Chinese culture, language and customs attracted me to the course,” Aumbandja said Tuesday.

She said she found the course enthralling.

“Chinese grammar at the beginner level is significantly simpler than English. Mandarin characters are the hardest part in the beginning, and characters take more than one practice, a challenge which for a moment looks insurmountable,” she said.

At first captivated by the culture and language, it is believed learning Chinese would present breakthroughs in careers.

Yang Xingang, a Chinese teacher at the Institute, said that Chinese language aids young Namibians to diversify social and economic prospects in light of robust investment between China and Namibia.

According to Aumbandja, the course taught her how to compete effectively in the business environment.

The language helps me in negotiating for bargains at the industrial China town shops in Windhoek, she said.

“You are most likely to get discount if you know how to speak a bit of mandarin,” she said.

She is not the only one in the learning.

Mon Shifotoka enrolled for the course this year. She said that studying Chinese is an extension of the studies in China a year back.

For the communications and media graduate, fluency in Mandarin will increase her chances of getting employment in international development agencies.

“It enables me to continue nurturing relations with Chinese people, embrace multiculturalism and boost prospects,” Shifotoka said.

Since its establishment in 2013 with support from the University of Namibia and China University of Geosciences, the Confucius Institute has made great progress, training more than 3000 students so far.

Zhang Fan, director of the Confucius Institute, said that more locals have shown interest in the program, with more learners enrolled compared to last year’s figure of 1,153 students.

“Chinese course is open for UNAM students and all locals. We have daytime and evening course for basic Chinese. We also have Chinese course for bankers and will have a course for tour guides in 2019,” he said.

The institute has over the years transformed into a platform to learn Chinese. It is also a name card to display Chinese culture and a bridge of China-Namibia cultural exchanges.

In addition to language skills acquisition, students like Aumbandja have been exposed to many cultural activities.

The institute hosts the Chinese proficiency competitions both in college and secondary school level, with summer camps to China. It provides scholarship programs and has established a radio program to introduce China called “Hello, China!”

“I developed an appreciation for Chinese culture and history. I learned how to cook Chinese food and dance. Learning a language is a good skill,” said Aumbandja.

Meanwhile, plans are underway to expand the teaching of the Chinese language.

“We are planning to introduce the Chinese language in schools in the Khomas region. The application to introduce the Chinese language as a foreign language as part of the Namibian curriculum has been submitted to National Institute for Educational Development through the Khomas Directorate of Education under the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture,” Zhang said.

Source CON

Namibia: Health, education top youth’s budget wish list

Paheja Siririka

Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein is tabling the 2018/2019 national budget in the National Assembly this afternoon. Some youths weigh in what they think the government should spend more on this financial year.

Josephine Ileka
The government must increase more money to the Ministry of Health and Social Services. They cannot stop the tea and coffee break for hospital patients. If the issue is money then the government should allocate more money.

Selma Nangolo
I think money should be spend on the education sector with regards to the recruitment of new teachers as well as the implementation of the new curriculum. I also feel more money should be spend on the health sector because we need more medical personnel and more medical equipment. More hospitals and clinics are needed, especially in rural areas.

Fillemon Hamoolongo
I want the budget for this year to go to the education sector because we have a lot of complaints about the facilities that are not enough and with the parents complaining that there are no funds to buy books, to pay for the children’s accommodation, to those that are in the hostels and because of the curriculum that has changed, parents are finding it hard to adjust. More money should be allocated to the education sector to address the scarcity of materials in schools.

I feel, as much as more money goes to education, more should be allocated to that. Education must be a priority. I have children and they come home without textbooks or learners sharing textbooks. I feel health should also get a huge chunk of the budget, if we have sick people in our country they won’t be able to work and if they can’t work that affects the economy in a bad way. The servicing of land is another element that should be budgeted for, we need homes, plots, etc. Security is important in Namibia. Those are the four things I would expect the government to spend on more this year.

Source NEL

Namibia: Bowls team selected for SA youth tourney

Four young and very promising lawn bowls players have been selected to compete in an Under 20s tourney, to be hosted by Bowls South Africa in Bloemfontein, from 25 to 29 of this month.

The quartet are Ronan Olivier (skip), JP Fouche (third), AJ Visser (second) and Ané Olivier (lead). JP and Ané are from Eros Bowling Club in Windhoek, while Ronan and AJ are members of Namib Park Bowling Club in Walvis Bay.

Ronan’s brother Cabous has represented Namibia in the past and will do so again when the national team travels to Cardiff, Wales, to participate in the Atlantic Championships in May this year.
Lesley Vermeulen, who has played for Namibia on numerous occasions, accompanies the under 20’s as team manager.

The youngest player in the squad, Ané Olivier, 12, has been playing for a year now and says she likes to stay active and does karate also for which she was awarded national colours in 2017. JP Fouche, who incidentally is also Ané’s coach, is the oldest player in the team at the age of 17.

He has been playing bowls for five years and is a fully qualified coach. He states that bowls is very sociable, fun, addictive as well as competitive and requires significant concentration.

Ronan Olivier, who is 14 and has been playing for about four years, was in the winning under 20 side representing he Free State at the same tourney last year. AJ Visser is 16 years old andl attends high school in Walvis Bay. He has been playing bowls for three years.

The tourney has attracted a total of 34 teams – 33 from provinces all over South Africa and one team from Namibia.

Teams are divided into six sections. The tourney will be played in a league format within sections with the six top finishers from each group and the the two runner-ups in their section accumulating the highest scores advancing to the quarterfinals.

The winning four teams will play each other in the semi-finals before contesting the final with both losing semi-finalists vying for the bronze medal.

When asked how they felt about representing their native land, Ané commented: “I can’t wait to take part in my first international game and can’t wait to meet the other teams as well. It’s my first time going to Bloemfontein.” JP remarked that he felt truly honoured to represent his country,

“This is the perfect opportunity for us to showcase our talents against tough opponents and [to show] just how lawn bowls as a sport is changing [because of all the young people now playing].”

Source NEL

Namibia: Student urges youth to contribute to development

By PINEHAS NAKAZIKO

Mental independence is the basis of independent thinking, independent decision-making, and leads to independent actions and behaviour, says youth activist and a student at the University of Namibia (Unam) Alexis Wimmerth.

In an interview Wimmerth spoke about mental independence, highlighting the role it plays in achieving economic independence and eventually political independence. “Twenty-nine years of independence, as a Namibian country and a nation that is how far we have come. We are proud of our nation and proud of our achievements thus far on all different levels. The way we are using our time and on what we are focusing our minds will determine the future of this country,” says Wimmerth. She says Namibian students and youths have to invest in all things that will advance the country towards prosperity. “This is regardless of our political affiliations – the focus right now is bigger. It is on the Namibian nation. It is bigger than our ethnicity and our tribes, it is bigger than our upbringing and our culture, and it is about the development of this country.”

Wimmerth adds that for young people to be independent thinkers, they need a high level of self-sufficiency, meaning that they have to regulate their actions and own thoughts. “We have to think for ourselves and no one can claim on how we have to think, what we have to think and how we have to do it. It’s important to try to question why we think about certain things and act in certain ways,” she explains.

She also said that behavioral independence is based on mental independence, because it’s only after one can think independently that one can make independent choices in life. “We need to guide our values and our actions, and accept that we might make mistakes. If we are intellectually independent we will contribute to the social economic development of this country. Independence of thought can lead to incredible discoveries and innovations; such innovations can not only help us and our sense of self-confidence, but can also further the state of our Namibian nation.”

According to her, mental independence is the place of continuous recreation and innovation so, when youth have an idea, they should not sit on that idea. “We need to use it towards the development of this independent Namibia for us to reach economic development. Volunteer to bring a change at an old age home, volunteer to help out at a health centre, visit an orphanage and see the day-to-day activities, every small contribution will add towards a better developed Namibia,” she advises the
youth.

Source NEL

Namibia: Youth uses sport to preach voluntary circumcision

By JOHN MUYAMBA

A young man is combining his love for sport and activism to raise awareness on Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision (VMMC) in the Kavango East and West regions.

VMMC is a biomedical intervention in HIV prevention and is part of the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ combination prevention strategy.

The 31-year old Stephan Mungongi, an ambassador of the VMMC campaign in the two Kavango regions is the founder of the Mungongi Foundation which gives out information on HIV/AIDS through awareness campaigns to communities mainly through soccer and netball.

Mungongi is also a 2018 alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship and is affiliated to the Embassy of the United States of America (USA) in Namibia’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFRAR) programme which is the single biggest commitment by a government to fighting HIV/AIDS.

Mungongi uses sport to bring the message of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision closer to youths in the two regions.

“The Ministry of Health and Social Services appointed me as a local ambassador to promote their programmes of the VMMC and HIV/AIDS testing and this was done after I successfully implemented my project of the first ever Rundu Community Wellness Day in October last year that was funded by the U.S. Embassy after I came back home from the Mandela Washington Fellowship Programme in August,” Mungongi said.

“I took initiative to use sport and so far it has paid dividends and the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ VMMC campaign coordinator and other stakeholders such as the Walvis Bay Corridor Group were very excited about the results on the day. If granted funding by PEPFAR, for which I applied for my foundation to do this very same work, I pledge to continue to take this fight against this deadly pandemic to a whole new level,” Mungongi added.

He further explained that he has established a firm network with all stakeholders who are involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and many young people are eager to work with him as they are seeing the impact of his initiative.

“The local authority of the Namibia Football Association in Kavango West (NFA) based in Nkurenkuru have communicated to me that the grassroots soccer leagues will be starting soon and that I should get my constituency teams ready for the new season and they have encouraged me to continue to implement this programme of motivating young men to get circumcised and to practice living a healthy lifestyle through my soccer league,” he said.

He further explained: “We are set to begin in mid-April with the soccer league, it is comprising of 360 young men aged 15 to 35. We are planning to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Services as well as other stakeholders to implement these programmes as soon as the league starts and until it ends in November.”

Mungongi also added that the same trend would continue next year “but it will be much easier if we get funding because what hinders us now are just resources and financial constraints to take this initiative forward”.

Last month, World Aids Day was celebrated in Kavango West on February 15. The event which is normally celebrated on December 1, was held on that day and saw a number of youths attending.

“The day was held to top off the Valentines week testing programmes that we conducted in Rundu in the Kavango East Region. We were in Rundu as from February 11 to 15 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ testing teams who operate from the Rundu State Hospital to carry out voluntary HIV testing and Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision. We also targeted institutions of higher learning in Rundu, including the University of Namibia and the International University of Management in Nkurenkuru where we reached out to young people aged 15 to 35. Many were tested and circumcised throughout the week, building towards the 15th of February,” Mungongi revealed.

And on February 15 at Musese village where they held the official World Aids Day for the Kavango West Region, more than 400 people attended, consisting mainly of schoolchildren, church leaders, traditional authority leaders, councillors, chief councillor. Some people came from across the river in neighbouring Angola to attend the event.

“As local ambassador for the health ministry’s programmes, my role is to create demand and awareness for this event (World Aids Day), spread the word and market it before the actual day (on which it is commemorated) so that many people attend. My role is to furthermore encourage young people, especially young men, to partake and eventually to make use of the free health services that the health ministry was providing,” Mungongi explained.

With soccer as a tool, Mungongi managed to motivate young men and women to attend the main event held on 15 February and organised a small soccer tournament that took place at the sports field just after the proceedings.

Source NEL