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.

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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