European Union External Action

2018 Youth Conference in Northern Namibia ends on a high note

14/11/2018 - 16:00
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“I've learnt today, we are to become the change that we want to see and that we want people from outside to see. We don't need to take our skills outside Namibia but we have to build Namibia with the skills that we have. Let's build our Namibia, let's be productive Namibians!” Such were the enthusiastic reactions of students like Jerry Lusiku who participated in the EU-supported “Youth for Global Goals” conference in Namibia last month.

Youth for Global Goals, YOUTH

The EU Delegation to Namibia, together with the Hanns-Seidel Foundation, the German Embassy, The Youth Council of Namibia, the Ministry of Sport, Youth & National Service, AIESEC Namibia, Progress Namibia and the Internet Society Chapter organized and held the "Youth for Global Goals" Conference in the north of Namibia (Ongwediva) from 17-18 October 2018. The Conference aimed to bring together both young and senior leaders from a diverse cross-sectoral, multi-generational space to engage in conversations about pressing global and national issues (notably education and skills development as well as high unemployment) and to incorporate youth opinion into this discourse.  Moreover an important goal was to further inform the youth about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), understand their views and engage them to make a contribution towards the implementation of the SDGs through proposals and concrete actions.  The EU supported a youth survey that was carried out by AIESEC before the conference to gauge their perspectives on the SDGs, the challenges they experience and how they can contribute.  The findings of the survey were presented at the Conference.



Youth for Global Goals, YOUTH


“I'm Elia Bethuel from Ohangwena Region and it was a pleasure attending this year youth forum, as we got introduced to the UN SDGs. We learnt a lot. Like knowing that the youth are the driving force of these SDGs as we are the majority of the population. My region, Ohangwena in particular would definitely benefit from this event, as we had delegates from different youth structures and they are going to share what they have heard. I would love more events of this nature to be happening, which is an eye opener for the youth and helps us to get involved.”  



Youth for Global Goals, YOUTH


“My name is Shandre Josia, I'm from Karas Region and I'm a learner at Suiderlig Secondary school. This platform was great and an amazing experience for me. It sharpened my mind seeing there are different productive areas that the youth can become involved in.  We also need to keep in mind global goals such as the SDGs and our country's Vision 2030. I'm going to spread awareness to my peers and to other platforms so that I can also speak out and encourage them to become active in AEISEC, as we, the youth are the future of our country. The event was fantastic and I've learnt a lot. I enjoyed the diversity of different cultures coming together I sincerely hope next year we can delve into other topics:  such as corruption at political level, poverty, hunger and climate change issues.”


The youth eagerly participated in this conference and repeatedly said: "We cannot wait for the Government to help us, development and transformation starts with us!” They pointed out that access to finance is a major obstacle for most of them as they cannot offer guarantees to banks.  They stressed that informal education and skills are as important as formal education and encouraged each other to diversify their skills and incomes. Mentorship programmes and job shadowing are needed in addition to financing.

The EU representative at this occasion said that youth is a key priority for the EU and Africa as was confirmed during last year's 5th AU-EU Summit, where the focus of the conference was on "Investing in Youth".  Furthermore the youth played an active part in the run-up to the summit and agreed on a declaration and recommendations that were presented to leaders at the November Summit. The conference was similarly informed about the 'AU-EU Youth Plug-In Initiative', in which a Namibian representative participated as well as the launching of the 'AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub', which is part of the follow-up to the commitments made at the 5th AU-EU Summit and particularly the AU-EU Youth Track.  In addition, the EU representative highlighted EU focal areas of cooperation in Namibia, namely Education and Skills development and Agriculture.  As regards support to Education and Training, the EU Vocational Education Training Programme was emphasized, which is implemented by GIZ together with the Namibian Training Authority, whereby the EU aims to contribute towards having a skilled labour force in Namibia that will enable them to be better equipped to find jobs or create job opportunities.



Youth for Global Goals, YOUTH


"My name is Jerry Lusiku from Kavango Region. I'm a poet, youth activist and a student from the University of Namibia. This event was a blessing to me because I learnt that society cannot define you but you define society with what you do in your society. […] I want the event to happen again. Today I've become an ambassador to my peers that weren't here. I'm going to mobilize this in such a way that I'll create a youth club that will involve the majority of the youth, to hear about their views so that we can change the mentality that they have, because most people are not progressing as they still hold fast to a cultural mentality that doesn't fit in our fast-changing world."


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