Ondangwa to host sustainable development workshops

Ondangwa-In response to the high unemployment rate and the need for youth economic empowerment, Ondangwa Urban Constituency in collaboration with various stakeholders will for the first time host small and medium enterprise (SME) workshops geared towards sustainable development.

The three-month workshops will focus on business farming, entrepreneurship and marketing, customer service, bookkeeping, digital marketing and how to conserve water.

The training is designed to empower local community leaders, business people as well as unemployed youth on how to tackle sustainable issues experienced in northern Namibia.

Speaking in an interview with the media on Friday, Aquila Ledbetter, who will be leading the workshops, said it is necessary to mobilise the youth to partake in growing organic food as opposed to the country importing food from elsewhere.

"The strategy is to identify farmers who are successful and have them come in and train other interested farmers who want to expand their business," said Ledbetter

Ledbetter is a student at the Graduate Institute School of International Training in America.

So far 76 participants have signed up for the workshops.

Ledbetter said the human-centred workshop would also focus on advancing the skills of street vendors in marketing their products and services better. Equally, the workshop would assist the business community on how to provide good customer service and subsequently increase revenue and the ecotourism sector.

The workshops would furthermore assist street vendors and the local community to calculate their VAT and taxable income better and educate them on tax issues.

"The whole movement is just about black economic empowerment and empowering others to lead as opposed to the traditional set-ups. Yes, we respect our elders, but as young people increase we now have to start sharing information and empowering each other along the way," said Ledbetter.

She said youth empowerment can only fully be realised through building alliances, collaborating with one another and sharing information.

The workshops would also enlighten trainees on how to use digital marketing tools to sell their products.

Workshops will be followed by assessments of the trainees to test the viability of training.

Ledbetter said training would not end there but continue to be offered by Afrisource, a company she started while an American Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia 10 years ago.

The constituency councillor of Ondangwa Urban, Elia Irimari, said the constituency would further want to continue attracting experts in sustainable development.

He said it is his wish that one day the country and government will become self-reliant.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia