OMARURU: Minister of Trade and Industry Hage Geingob says the key to maintaining a dynamic sector in Namibia is promoting entrepreneurship amongst young people to enhance their self-esteem and experience.
Geingob said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of the Industrial Development Directorate in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Petrina Nakale at the launch of the sixth Erongo Regional Youth Expo and Omaruru Oasis Festival, here on Thursday.
The Minister indicated that the expo, which will take place here from 25 October to 03 November this year, aims to promote young upcoming entrepreneurs as well as encourage and empower them to get involved in creating employment for themselves and others.
“The theme, ‘Striving towards Genuine Youth Economic Empowerment’ is befitting and inclusive. To be an entrepreneur is to be willing to devote yourself fully and unreservedly to making your business ideas a reality,” the minister said.
He further explained that international and regional reports show that unemployment amongst young people is a serious concern.
This means that here is no room for self-satisfaction, Geingob added.
He continued to say that initiatives such as the expo should be supported as a means to create employment and alleviate poverty.
“More than ever, Namibia needs its young citizens to stand up and showcase their inherent creativity,” he said.
Geingob also stated that Government continues to place significant emphasis on the young people of the nation and as a result, the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture adopted a strategic plan which seeks to lay the foundation for effective youth development throughout the country.
In addition, he said, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is committed to contributing to the development of the country and has created programmes to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
These programmes amongst others include the Business Services Support Programme (BSSP) which involves training and mentorship of SMEs by large businesses, the equipment aid scheme which supports entrepreneurs with production equipment and machinery, and the Industrial Upgrading and Modernisation Programme (IUMP). The IUMP was created with the technical assistance of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and aims to make local companies more competitive on international level and enhance local production levels.
The minister urged other stakeholders and the business community to join hands with the Government and support similar initiatives as well as invest in youth development programs to ensure that the youth are involved in the economic drive for Namibia to achieve the status of an industrialised country.
The joint event will take place from 25 October to 03 November this year in Omaruru, and was organised to empower the youth and the local community at large.
Activities forming part of the expo are a seminar on unemployment amongst the youth; motivational talks; a workshop on the tendering process for youth enterprises; business registration processes; and a session on access to funding and benefits of the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg).
The Omaruru Oasis festival is an initiative of the Omaruru Municipality, and will see products manufactured at the town showcased.