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


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.


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

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

Namibia: Higher Education must work closely with tertiary institutions

Swanu of Namibia is appealing to the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation to work with all tertiary education institutions closely to ensure that graduates graduate in employment, rather than graduating in debts and in unemployment.

“The Development of Namibia is solely not serving its purpose; the bank needs to avail grants not loans for graduates or the youth to enter into the business environment for the development of Namibia. Where does the bank expect a graduate to get collateral from if they just graduated? We request the bank to use a graduate qualification as a requirement of obtaining a business loan,” says the league’s President, Brian Ngutjinazo, in a media statement.

He accuses the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development of having failed in controlling the foreign investors who come in the country with their own employees and abandon the qualified youth in Namibia who graduates from vocational schools, University of Namibia (Unam), Namibian University of Science and Technology (Nust) and many others. Ngutjinazo is asking why the ministry is silent about the number of foreign employees brought into the country overlooking Namibians’ needs to work for such companies to gain experience and skills. “We are therefore asking the Ministry of Trade and Industry together with the Ministry of Labour to set up a Commission of Enquiry to investigate the number of Namibians who work for [foreign companies] compared to foreign employees and release their finding by end of May 2019.”

He says the National Youth Service (NYS) is supposed to facilitate employment opportunity for the Namibian youth “however they have staged a form of competition with the vocational schools by offering vocational courses.” The Swanu Youth League is therefore asking the NYS to create platforms for employment of graduates instead of competing with VTCs, Unam, or Nust.
Ngutjinazo further maintains that the Namibian youth is demanding the government to unfreeze all frozen positions such as those of nurses, teaching post, police force, defence force and use the loans that government obtains from Germany and other nations to sustain civil servants, instead of pumping billions of dollars on airports and other infrastructures that needs no expensive renovation.

Source NEL

Namibia: 19 Year Old Girl Inspires, Changes Lives Through Poetry

By Aletta Shikololo

Lydia Festus, socially known as Lydia October, is not just your regular teenage girl having at the age of 19 years already made herself a brand and knows what it takes to be successful.

She is a poet, MC and the founder of the non-governmental organisation (NGO), October Foundation. To her, poetry is real and intimate and it means exposing very dark, hidden parts of her life that she wouldn’t really talk about with even the closest people in her life. “Poetry has been with me, my whole life I figured. Anyone who knows or has been around me for a while would know how much I love English, literature, I meant that as literally,” she says. “Before I became a poet, I was an MC, I still am, and it all began in high school. My friends and I went to crowd cheering for our matriculants and I received a call from one of our teachers, asking if I would love to host the school’s matric party,” she adds.

Poetry occurred to her that moment when she heard her inner voice telling her how the ignorant naysayers would constantly hate her “loud mouth”, which pushed her to that point. “I agreed on hosting the event and to be honest it was one of the best experiences in my life. From that day onwards, I became the school’s mistress of ceremony. I would host beauty pageants, public holiday events at school and so eventually I grew some exposure and soon other schools around town would ask me to host,” explains she.

Festus describes herself as someone who would always look at life in a more colorful way even through dark times, and she writes about almost everything she finds poetic and her poetry became more exposed when she started attending the Open Mic poetry sessions hosted by poet and MC, Ashywn Mberi, and it became a priority to attend and when she feared performing her poetry. She says her last year of high school was one of the most interesting and intense years in her life as in Grade 12 she had built a platform for hosting events and voice-over skills. “As a learner in high school, at some point I lost interest in the whole idea of being a learner, nothing was going my way and I just stopped doing anything about it. I had been pressured so much into the idea of not failing, I stopped focusing on working hard towards not failing by studying hard but instead I focused more on poetry for some reason,” Festus explains.

Also an author, she has written a book titled Tales of an open mind, yet to be published. “I spent so much of my study time expressing myself and how confusing life is as a teenager through poetry and had completely derailed my focus on the physics and chemistry exams that I had to study for,” she adds.

She chose to focus on building herself as a brand because she knew already the outcomes of her results and she decided to drive to Windhoek for voice-over auditions at NBC, a week before the exams officially started. Even though she didn’t make it in Grade 12, she didn’t just stay home but went to the College of Arts where she was admitted as a radio production student, even though it was hard to convince her mother to let her pursue her dream at the college.

Festus’s journey was not just a walk in the park, it was also filled with challenges and one of the biggest challenges that she faced was being robbed of her personal computer, which had her poetry book in it and most of her business ideas. “I remember crying myself to sleep, just thinking how much time and effort I have put in writing it, just to have it gone before I could even back it up,” she reflects sadly.

But all that is now water under the bridge and life goes on. Her personal goal is to at least have a solid empire in terms of art, business and entertainment by 21 years old, and she is chasing it with all she has got, through God’s grace and by her parent’s lifelong lessons. “I look back into my life and just seeing how much I have experienced and accomplished at 19 is what keeps me going. I look up to my mom a lot, I never saw myself being so business-minded but now it all makes sense, I am walking in her footsteps and I appreciate how she and my dad have raised me to always humble myself and always respect the ones who came before me,” Festus adds.

She currently has dropped out of college because of financial difficulties year and she thus decided to take a gap year and raise money to pay for her studies. “I recently partnered with Namibian actor, Carlos Leonard, who recently returned from Hollywood, for film and theatre training at the Beverly Hills Play House Acting School – he and I are now helping expose the Leonard Talent Management Agency cc (LTM) to the Namibian market as we would like to start managing Namibian actors, musicians, models and dancers,” she says.

Festus is looking forward to publishing her poetry books in the near future, as well as becoming an actress within the Namibian industry and later on the international platform.

Festus advises the youth to start investing in their personal growth by discovering themselves, and where it is they feel they belong best in life. “Dropping out of school will never be an option if you don’t have a plan worked out to back such decisions up – it will all lead to regret, trust me on that. Nobody can tell you otherwise to what God has already given you. Focus on your own race with your own battles at your own pace. Every day you wake up is do or die, swim or drown, so grab every opportunity with both arms and do everything right by giving it your all the first time around; it’s rare for opportunities to come around twice believe me.”

In her free time she gives back to the community through her foundation and at the moment she is mentoring young girls on teenage pregnancy, importance of business, arts and education. She also loves giving feedback to upcoming artists on their music.

Source New Era Live

Namibia Youth must go for what they believe in.

By Staff Reporter

There has been a lot of complaints about youth unemployment in Namibia and it has become a widely talked about issue. The unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.

According to the “Status of the Namibian Economy’’ document, Namibia’s labour market looks more vulnerable with unemployment increasing over the years and employment decreasing. The working age population has increased by 55 593 new entrants into the labour market. A significant share of the youth population is unemployed at 43.4 percent (aged 15-34 years), which is an increase of 4.4 percent from 2014, and almost 12 percent difference between males and females.

This heavily affects the youth as they are the most in the country and are considered the leaders of tomorrow. But as much as we are crying for many unemployed youths in Namibia, and trying to come up with new ways of creating jobs, we ought to be proud of the fact that there are Namibian youths abroad that are working day in and day out to make a living and more importantly to represent the country.

Paheja Siririka (PS) caught up with second respondent who is not a stranger to some in Namibia. A University of Namibia (Unam) alumnus with a BA in Journalism and a former radio presenter. He is currently studying Mandarin (Chinese language) and doing a degree in International Relations and Politics at the University of Johannesburg. This is Berneth Koopman (29), who has been employed there as an administrator for two years now.
What took you there in the first place?
Studies and the media world.

What is the biggest challenge of working in a foreign country as a Namibian?

Not having your support system at your disposal, but as time goes by you eventually get things cracking and a new support system is formed. For me thus far it has been smooth sailing as I had friends that lived here and a few family members so, I was quite settled.

For many Namibians I have encountered in my years in the big city, its always difficult finding a job or paper work and this forces them to go back home.

What are the chances of you coming back home?

Slim, very, very, very slim. I have made a life over here and I call the big city of Johannesburg home. It’s never easy to adjust in Johannesburg but once you find your vibe and your tribe you ought to be settled.

If you had the opportunity to amend and enact something that would create a platform for youth employment in Namibia, what would it be?

Our business mindset, stop copying and pasting because eventually it won’t work out. If by any chance you see something that someone else is doing, tweak it in a way that suits you and your clientele and run with it. If it fails, adjust it and start again. The objective is not to give up but to put something in place that eventually works and would last.

Anyone who is aspiring to work abroad, what tips do you have for her/him?

It’s going to be damn hard, nothing great has ever been easy, you will have a lot of bad days and you would feel lost many times. There will be broke, broke days. You will have days with no food, no shelter but this comes back to your tribe you meet along the way. Let those hard times be a motivation as it only results into damn amazing years ahead. You will lose friendships along the way as they might have been your way out and you used them to get through these bad days. Lies and pride will get you nowhere. If it is difficult for you to open up you’d be stuck and miserable and let your dreams and reason for coming abroad fade away in a blink of an eye. Be very open-minded and vigilant at all times and don’t let a quick fix be your way out. I have been offered cocaine and was asked to sleep my way up but I took the opposite route of hard work pays off and the nice things [in life] are always temporary as hard work pays for so much better. Stand your ground, be true to yourself ALWAYS.

What advice do you have to the youth?

To go for what they believe is a great idea and put it into working. There is never a stupid or unrealistic idea. In Johannesburg, you could literally buy a new life on the streets, LOL. Put your ideas out there, there will eventually be someone that buys into your idea, and all this time you could be sitting on gold.

Source New Era Live