Pohamba Concerned About Slow Economic Growth

PRESIDENT Pohamba has once again expressed concern at the slow economic growth and high unemployment rate in the country.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Education David Namwandi at the graduation ceremony of 458 National Youth Service (NYS) trainees at Rietfontein Training Centre yesterday, Pohamba said Namibia needs strategies to develop an effective and quality education and skills training system.

He aised the graduates that their qualifications are not an end “but rather a means to address the challenges facing the country such as slow economic growth and high unemployment”.

Pohamba said although the number of graduates is sizeable, “the challenge of youth unemployment is enormous and will require g partnership between government, industry and civil society”.

The President also said the vocational and technical skills acquired should be used to contribute to the expansion and diversification of the labour market and industries.

“This will enhance our global competitiveness as a country because the rapidly changing global economy compels businesses and industries to continuously upgrade to remain competitive in the global market,” he said.

Pohamba applauded the NYS for instilling and strengthening fundamental values and virtues such as self discipline, patriotism, national pride and volunteerism into the trainees, which he says is a critical social challenge.

Namwandi encouraged the graduates to implement the skills they acquired, and that they should do this without expecting to be thanked.

“This is a nation of thankless people. If you go out there and work hard expecting to be thanked, you are wasting your time. It’s your responsibility to create employment for yourself and others,” Namwandi said.

He urged the students to form companies, institutions and labour markets, saying government does not owe them any jobs.

NYS commissioner Onesmus Upindi said as much as it is costly to run a national service programme, its absence is even more costly.

“The disgruntled youth, due to lack of opportunities available for them, embark on destructive waves that engulf everybody,” Upindi said.

Upindi also said the youth should not depend on government for jobs, but should create employment by generating innovative and entrepreneurial ideas that can be funded by government.

The students graduated in manufacturing, hospitality, office administration, information and communication technology, automotive engineering, general construction and metal fabrication, hairdressing, joinery, bricklaying auto mechanics, business services, and plumbing.

This is the second graduation of the NYS Rietfontein Training Centre since its inception in 2009. 4000 have so far been recruited in the programme, with 559 currently enrolled.

Source : The Namibian