Home Youth empowerment Opinion – Towards an integrated comprehensive youth development strategy

Opinion – Towards an integrated comprehensive youth development strategy

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Henny Seibeb

Duminga Ndala

From November 4-5, 2022, the LPM Party Chief Whip, Hon. Henny Seibeb participated in a Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) regional policy dialogue on “Strengthening the Separation of Powers and Parliamentary Oversight in the SADC Region: A leap towards democratic accountability and inclusive governance” in Johannesburg, South Africa. The main objective of the regional political dialogue was to create a platform for parliamentarians to engage with stakeholders on the context and strategies for strengthening democratic accountability through parliamentary interventions and advancing human rights. rights in order to strengthen the democratic dynamic in the SADC region. Discussions focused on how to strengthen the role of parliaments in promoting inclusive governance through youth political participation and representation and an overview of priority youth issues in the SADC region and the comparative analysis of parliamentary engagement with young people in the SADC region.

On May 22-23, 2021, the Landless Movement Youth Command Element (LPM-YCE) held a Leadership Conference at the Shalom Center in Windhoek on the theme “Reigniting Youth Participation in Politics modern”. The conference reflected on youth issues and the main outcome of these deliberations was the proposal of the Comprehensive Integrated Youth Development Strategy (CIYDS). In 2021, the Third Revision of the National Youth Policy (2020-2030) was approved in the National Assembly but this alone will only be able to reach its full potential if accompanied by an implementation plan. , such as that proposed by the LPM YCE. The challenge often lies in implementing such ambitious government plans and how we mobilize the right funding and skill sets to realize our collective visions “from below”. The Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service does not want to accede to such demands in what could be described as “the politicization of the youth agenda”.

During the SADC-FP regional policy dialogue, one of the main demands of young people was to ‘depoliticise’ national youth agencies and ensure equitable access to national youth development funds. This is rightly so because in Namibia countless promises have been made regarding the establishment of a National Youth Fund including ensuring access to credit facilities but this has only become political rhetoric in every election cycle. Young people, who make up 36.8% of the total population, also face the highest youth unemployment rate, estimated at around 46.1% (Namibia Labor Force Survey, 2018). As a result, many young people of working age are dependent on other parents. This has disastrous consequences in terms of harvesting the demographic dividend. Class antagonism is growing and the end result will be a revolutionary rupture, but such a “ruptural” vision of change could go in the direction of a more profoundly egalitarian social order by adopting the twin visions of an overall integrated strategy of Youth Development (CIYDS) and a new Integrated Rural Development Strategy to close the rural-urban inequality gap, the rural-urban poverty gap and create much-needed jobs. Namibia had a National Rural Development Strategy 2013/14-2017/18 (NRDS) to address rural poverty, inequality, unemployment and rural infrastructure development deficit. However, due to the lack of any monitoring and evaluation of government programs, it is difficult to quantify success and desired results.

The third national youth policy is based on four essential pillars, youth education and skills development; youth health and well-being; youth employment and economic empowerment, and; political and civic participation of young people. Apart from youth economic empowerment, others are not necessarily strong pillars, as youth remain an “exploited class” without factors of production (ownership) of land, labor, capital and spirit. company. Thus, the current national youth policy is only a continuation of existing government programs of social and political protection, which are already covered in the areas of health, education, arts and culture, sport, youth and national service.

Key decision makers in the Ministry of Youth have misunderstood the concept of youth development and empowerment in the context of the fourth industrial revolution and post-Covid-19. The Third National Youth Policy remains a vague document on the class agenda, as no thought has been applied to the class analytical perspective of youth, as an exploited underclass. A policy document should always have a deliberate classroom curriculum and provide steps to achieve such a particular classroom curriculum. The SADC-FP regional policy dialogue noted that youth inclusion is imperative in governance processes, as young people play a central role in shaping more productive and functional societies. Further, he concluded that parliaments need to facilitate enabling legislation to ensure active youth engagement through mechanisms such as youth quotas, parliamentary youth caucus, enactment of the SADC youth protocol , appoint real-age youth to strategic positions and support youth-friendly budgets at the national level.

Therefore, we call on President Hage Geingob to grant an audience to the LPM Youth Command Element leadership, in early 2023, to present the proposed Comprehensive Integrated Youth Development Strategy (CIYDS) with an honest “depoliticized” approach to developing and approving an implementation plan. translating the policy priorities proposed under the national youth policy into concrete programs with budgets, targets and a monitoring and evaluation mechanism. The strategy, if legislated, will be a substantial instrument to improve the lives of our young people. CIYDS, beyond being a model for national youth policy and an instrument of coordination, will also serve as the contribution of the youth sector to the national objectives of reducing poverty, inequalities and unemployment as expressed in national development plans and the 2030 vision. These goals are at the heart of our development agenda, embodied in the medium-term annual expenditure framework.

2022-11-15 Staff reporter