A total of 34,920 trainees are currently enrolled for Technical and Vocational Education Training programmes countrywide through the support of the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).

Finance Minister Ipumbu Shiimi said last week in the National Budget Statement that Government is working on speeding up the expansion of infrastructure at the Valombola VTC, Nakayale VTC, Okakarara VTC and Kai//Ganaxab Youth Skills Training Centre, while similar expansion projects will be completed at Gobabis VTC and Zambezi VTC.

“In addition, bulk services were recently completed for new VTCs at Nkurenkuru and Keetmanshoop,” Shiimi said.

The minister added that other programmes which have benefited the youth include the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (AgriBank)’s Women and Youth loan scheme that was developed for the acquisition of farmland by predominantly previously disadvantaged beneficiaries.

“To this end, a total of N$73.2 million for 35,347 hectares and another N$43 million for livestock purchase have been approved by January 2022.

The minister also said that the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation is investigating the viability of the development of a Student Village in Windhoek to address shortages of student accommodation.

“The Germany Ministry of Education and Research has made available €5 million, equivalent to N$86 million, for the Namibian Youth for Green Hydrogen (Y4H2) Scholarship Programme to upskill unemployed graduates and ensure that the Namibian youth is trained and ready to contribute to the green hydrogen economy workforce.

“The Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) launched the Sustainable Development Goal Investment Facility which supported 70 youth enterprises to the tune of N$10 million in the area of sustainable agriculture, manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism.

“In addition, a green concessional loan facility targeting youth entrepreneurs will be launched by the EIF to provide financing of up to N$2 million per economic viable investments that integrates low carbon and climate adaptation instruments.

“This will be a revolving facility that will be recapitalised annually and is expected to grow by N$300 million over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.”

The minister said that these are just a few of the youth-focused programmes and initiatives that Government is spearheading.

“On their end, we urge the youth to do their part in exploiting these targeted opportunities created to enhance skills development and create capacity among them,” Shiimi said.

In the photo: Nakayale VTC.