Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Motion on Unemployed Namibians with or without Professional Qualifications

BY: Chief Ankama, SWAPO MP

Comrade Speaker, I regard this motion as an extraordinarily important one, not just to me but to other many Namibians if not all. This is the third time that I move this motion in the house. It first lapsed during the first term of 2008 when parliament went into recess and then re-introduced during the last term of last year but ended without reaching its intended goal, the goal of finding a lasting directive to solving unemployment situation in Namibia. Now comrade Speaker, I am here again standing to re-introduce the motion on unemployed Namibians with or without professional qualifications, accompanied by some amendments.

The motion seeks to:
1. discuss, assess and ascertain the seriousness of unemployed Namibians with professional trainings and qualifications obtained from recognized educational institutions here in Namibia or abroad;
2. this motion equally should include in our discussion the general unemployment of all able bodied people in Namibia in view of government sponsored initiated projects such as the green schemes, agricultural colleges in the country and vocational training institutions as a matter of example.
3. This motion should further challenge the government and private sector partnership to open up in the provision of relevant skills and creation of job opportunities for the unemployed Namibians.
Correspondingly this motion urges that unemployment be critically investigated in relation to our national investment policies and further discover the unemploy-ability of all the above mentioned people for recommendation and appropriate action in favour of their predicament.

We all know or see many Namibian graduates from the University of Namibia, Polytechnic, Vocational training institutions, colleges of education and some with foreign qualifications. Individuals as they are, they talk about their disappointment and frustrations with regard to institutions where they obtained qualifications. They also talk about “a corrupt” recruiting system in both the public and private sector. That people with no professional qualifications, for instance with grade 12 are being preferred for professional job opportunities above trained candidates. This may be the reason why some divisions, departments and offices both in public and private services, do not perform to the expected standard of their clients.
Further, when we come to work every day, we see many able bodied Namibians sitting at traffic lights or along the street pavements in hope for someone to pick them up for a casual one –off job for a day if lucky.
Many of these are very young Namibians whose energy could be maximally utilised for the good of this country.

Comrade Speaker, hon. Members, we are all witnesses to this degrading situation of unemployed Namibians with or without qualifications. Many if not all of these people are very young, energetic, full of zest and thus able to do some good work.
However the questions are;
1. Why and how come that we keep on training people for fun while Namibia is in dire need for skilled people?
2. Why can’t we create incubation centres or units within the sectors of Agriculture, forestry, construction or fishing industry just as an example for us to produce?
These could help equip the unemployed Namibians with practical skills. Such incubation centres can collaborate in terms of academic theory with our national institutions of education and training for a joint certification of the in-service trainees. After graduation, those who wish can then be organised in co-operative companies with start-up facilities and grow themselves both socially and economically into the world of authenticity.

Others may want to go their own way by establishing own companies or sell themselves to work abroad because of their skills, and thereby bringing money into Namibia. The system of incubation centres /units will also help the country in general to unlock competition of productivity and trade, thus stimulating fast economic growth.

Comrade Speaker, hon. Members
I am 1001 % convinced that establishment of a centralized research centre in the country, with decentralized data bank to, readily facilitate access of data for private and collective research and planning, is essential. I know we have a number of research units in various institutions around the country, such as in ministries, institutions of education and those in private, but do you know how difficult it is to access data from many of these institutions? This is one of the many reasons why we fall short in planning to determine e.g., the number of classroom needed for the first graders, space of learners for grade 10, we fail to determine how many math, science teachers we will need in 5 years time or the quota for electrical engineers we shall need in 10 years time.
Having a one-stop research centre in the country does not mean that we should to away with the existing ones. It simply translates in improving our efficiency in planning, budgeting and service delivery. With an ICT act soon in place, ministries, entities and individual citizens may be able to access data on line when they so want for own purposes.
In simple terms, this will help individual students or anybody so wish to do appropriate planning, advising, setting up projects goals, reviewing successes of programs, prioritising students’ careers etc, etc.

Comrade Speaker, hon. Members
To address the situation of unemployment and do better placement of our professional cadres where they can perform with vigour, we need to plan better, and to do so, we need to be guided by empirical data. Data that are correlated, continually updated and data that are ever accessible when needed. This is a necessary foundation for us to meet our national developmental agenda.
Having this in place, we will have low risk of having both semi and professional trained human resource roaming our streets.
In addition, we will be in a better position as a country to tackle the overall unemployment situation countrywide.

I appeal that this motion be discussed with the zeal it deserves to lead to a desirable resolution. Further it is my appeal that finally this motion be referred to an appropriate committee for research, public input and proper recommendations.
So I move comrade Speaker!