The government of Namibia has launched a new self-employment horticulture project to empower youths in the country and create a leeway for jobs in the value chain.
Launched in Omaruru, the project seeks to encourage and create employment opportunities for young people to produce crops and vegetables, to enhance the country’s food security.
Governor of Erongo, Neville Andre revealed that with about 39.2 percent of unemployed youths, the new project will create self-sustainable projects driven by young Namibians.
The project, he said, was consistent with the guidelines laid out by the Harambee Prosperity Plan, including calls for the expansion of youth participation in social and economic development.
The governor added that the objective of the project was to increase the skills, income and productivity potential of out-of-school youths in peri-urban and rural areas.
“The sub-pillar of youth enterprise development in the Harambee Prosperity Plan has dual objectives, to create an enabling environment for private sector entrepreneurial startups and growth-oriented SMEs, as well as to facilitate the establishment of youth-owned enterprises, through government structures and interventions
“Specifically, over the next years, this project seeks to provide 84 disadvantaged young men and women between the ages 16 and 35 years with access to business development services through horticulture to realize their full economic potential.
“Thereafter, more young people will take up this opportunity and scale it up to all constituencies. The programme will be rolled out to all 14 regions,” he said.
Andre further stated that youths face higher barriers in entrepreneurship and as a result prompted the government to ensure that youths are established, strengthened and self-reliant.
According to him, youth unemployment and underemployment constitute central challenges to Namibia’s development.
The lack of economic opportunities, he added, also had serious social implications, as the inability to gain financial autonomy affects young people’s dignity.