The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service says that the omission of youth activities in the State of the Region Address of Ohangwena does not mean that youth matters have not received the prominence they merit.

“Considering the enormity of the task [of] all the development projects currently being implemented in Ohangwena region, the Honourable Governor will have to prioritise which to mention and which to omit,” says the Ministry’s Public Relations Officer, Ms Aina Shikesho.

“Thus, not being mentioned in the SORA does not necessarily equate to not having received a priority status to the institutions mandated to ensure that youth issues are appropriately addressed at all levels of government.”

Shikesho is responding to questions sent to her office about the fact that the State of the Region Address by Ohangwena Governor Walde Ndevashiya which was delivered in Eenhana on 22 June 2022 did not say anything about what kind of youth activities have taken place in the region during the period under review.

In fact, according to Shikesho, so much has been done.

Towards ensuring that the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service (MSYNS) develop and empower the youth as per its mandate, Shikesho points out that during the financial year of 2021/22 the Ministry, through the 121 Rural Youth Enterprises, selected two youth enterprises, namely Ondobe Youth Enterprise which is registered as a construction company, and Oshikango Youth Enterprise, registered as a carpentry and joinery company, to receive funding through the Development Bank of Namibia.

“Both enterprises have the capacity to provide over ten (10) jobs to young people from Ohangwena region,” Shikesho states.

The youth from Oshikunde Constituency in conjunction with the Ministry’s Rural Development Unit, initiated a sustainable project called Oshikunde Multi-Purpose Youth Project.

“The project is aimed at promoting agriculture, art and craft activities. The project has 15 youth members and is managed under the Ministry’s Rural Development Unit. The project received funding of N$81,000 from LED, through Ohangwena Regional Council, for fencing, marketing stalls, water and electricity installation.

“The Oshikunde Constituency Councillor will provide the project with one hundred (100) chickens, while the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism’s office in Okongo will provide seedlings,” Shikesho narrates.

Another activity worth noting is the Horticultural Self-Employment Project initiated by the National Youth Council in all 14 regions during November 2020.

“In Ohangwena region, the horticultural project was established in Onambutu Constituency and is known as the Onambutu Horticultural Project, funded by the NYC,” she says.

“Already, six beneficiaries (members of the project) underwent training. The Ministry is making efforts to acquire gardening materials through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform to assist the programme further.”

On youth reproductive health, Shikesho indicates that the Ministry “recognizes that ‘idle hands are the devil’s workshop’ thus toward keeping the youth positively engaged, various workshops were organized.

“Primarily, the workshops centred on youth reproductive health. In this regard, the Ministry in collaboration with AfriYAN and NAPPA trained over 44 out-of-school youths on Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE)and over 1300 youth and community members from Eenhana, Okongo, Ondobe, Omafo and Oshikango constituencies received awareness training  on CSE during the mentioned period.”

In addition, the Ministry’s Eenhana Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre offers basic skills training such as computer classes and tailoring for six months, with the aim of equipping the youth with skills which could be used to create self-employment opportunities.

As a result, despite the fact that none of these activities were mentioned in the SORA, surely so much has been done in Ohangwena region targeted at the youth of the region who are either unemployed, casually employed or self-employed.

In the photo: Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service’s Public Relations Officer Ms Aina Shikesho.