The development of Namibia and the future prosperity of the people will depend on the ability of the population to find jobs in the agricultural field.

Manufacturing will also be the second pillar around which the economy will be built.

Without agriculture and manufacturing Namibia will never get anywhere, unemployment will remain high and poverty will be widespread.

This was said by the Executive Director of the Ministry of Labour Relations and Employment Creation Mr Bro-Matthew Shinguadja in an exclusive telephonic interview with Omutumwa.

Omutumwa was asking about the role of his ministry in the efforts to create employment and transform the economy, and why is unemployment so high in a country with such abundant natural resources?

Shinguadja responded by saying that the main factor contributing to unemployment and a sluggish economy is the lack of skills in fields such as agriculture and manufacturing. He said this situation is a result of the fact that the youth are not studying things relevant to the needs of the economy.

“We have to change the narrative and educate the nation that what we need is education and skills in agricultural fields.

“I challenge journalists to run articles on these issues. When you go to other countries there is what is called ‘labour and employment corner’ in the magazines and newspapers. But here there is nothing. Our journalists are not interested.”

Shinguadja said Namibian journalists are only interested in reporting strikes, just as the people of Namibia are interested in setting up bottle stores and shebeens and the youth are interested in studying administration and office management.

“If you go to agricultural colleges, I doubt if you will find 1000 students there.

“So we should blame ourselves for this high unemployment.”

According to Shinguadja potential for job creation is only in the fields of agriculture and manufacturing. But these are the fields where there are no skilled people.

“If we are not studying relevant things then we will go on relying on other people to help us. But these people don’t help you free of charge. They help you because they want to benefit for their country. I have said it for long, that no matter how you rely on foreign investment you will not develop. Rather we have to rely on ourselves,” said Shinguadja.

“As the ministry of labour we have advised the ministry of education to develop a curriculum which incorporates studies in agriculture and industries, but people who develop the curriculum are not including agriculture as a serious field of studies on which our economy be based.”

The official rate of unemployment in Namibia is 34,7%.