WINDHOEK, Jan. 16 – My dear Comrades and fellow youth, His Almighty has once again blessed us with a New Year, a year of new hopes, a year of new resolutions and a year of new spirit.
Looking back at the events of the previous year 2017, and ahead to the national challenges we face in this 2018, let’s not lose hope in the fears of the unknown, we are not only hopeful youth, we are go getter young lions and we should ready to face these challenges.
The challenges such as those of unemployment, school drop outs and low pass rate for grade 10 and 12’s, domestic violence, economic
crisis, water crisis and drought. Even though my hope is that we do not carry the fear into this new year, I do recognize that we are human, and sometimes have no control over some of these complex feelings and current issues we are facing, and it is human nature to panic into distress or even resort to defense mode where we end up attacking one another unnecessarily, instead of positively engaging one another to find solutions.
If we have already carried the fear into this New Year, let us rather use it positively as a motivator to give us the drive, and keep us moving amidst the obstacle of these challenges we will be facing as a Nation to fight it jointly instead.
These challenges include among others;
The need to continuously increase access, equity and improve the quality of our education system at all levels;
The need to invest in quality technical skills development;
The need to invest value addition of natural resources, so as to create much needed employment;
The need to invest in new and support existing youth enterprise development in all regions and constituencies;
The need to create new and support existing agriculture projects so as to boast food security;
The need to intensify awareness programmes aimed at fighting the social evils of alcohol and drug abuse, unplanned teenage pregnancies, irresponsible teenage sexual behavior and the danger of HIV/AIDS.
I am equally, aware of a number of interventions that are already in place, however, not so many out of these have yield the desired outcomes, as we yearly continue to experience a high number of drop out in our school system, particularly Grade 10 & 12’s. These Grades continue to be our annual yard stick in measuring the quality of our school system, however to date it shows that much still need to be done.
The current challenges we face as a nation calls for an aggressive and collective multi-sectoral approach at all levels of our society. Our inability to take multi-sectorial approach to the current challenges will continuously lead to the escalation of high unemployment rate among the youth. It is therefore, high time that we do let go the perpetual chronic syndrome of working in silos and at times creating unnecessary competition among the sectors.
Furthermore, it is no secret that our economy is currently facing headwinds and that evident recovery may not be realized or be visible within a short time–frame. We are however, comforted by the fact that our Government under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. Hage Geingob has taken punitive measures in curbing unnecessary spending. This is indeed step in the right direction.
Whilst, we recognize efforts by Government in addressing the plight of our people, we know very well that many of our people are subsistence farmers who rely heavily on the rainy season for their own livelihood and that of their livestock. We have however, over the past years not been blessed and thus we continued to face a major water and drought crisis throughout many parts of the country, with severe loss of livestock, decline in crop production and food security.
It is therefore critical that alternative means of ensuring constant supply of water to our communities. And it is for this reason we rally
behind our Government’s efforts in setting up the much needed desalination plants and irrigation projects. We believe this initiative will help in solving the current challenges of water supply to our communities, their livestock and increase crop production.
We continue to draw this inspiration quote by the Founding President and Father of the Namibian Nation His Excellency Dr. Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma that says “A united people, striving to achieve a common good for all members of society, will always emerge victorious”.
Therefore, to build a Nation is not a one man’s job, but it is a unified collective responsibility of every citizen. The SWAPO Party Youth League will create more platforms of dialogue between the different national sectors and the public to learn from one another on how to tackle the challenges we face. Through these platforms of the public engagement with the government, the public will have an opportunity to bring ideas forth and debate to find the best way of implementation. It will also create opportunities for the youth to brush up their skills and take on new challenges.
I am proud of the youth that are already working tirelessly to create food security, economic emancipation and employment creation for themselves and others. My wish is that you continue building your enterprises from strength to strength and be assured of our utmost support. This year should be a year of moving forward with the combined strength of solidarity and unity, and one goal in mind. To
let changes of good happen to individual and each family in order to make Namibia a better country for every citizen.
We must all be dedicated to contribute to the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and other government developmental policies to lead Namibia towards industrialization. SWAPO Party Youth League as a militant transmitting belt of the ideology, policies and programmes of the SWAPO Party in the process of nation building, our work will be indeed to address the challenges facing the youth.
I would like to ENCOURAGE all the SWAPO Party Youth League members, to continue combating retrogressive tendencies of tribalism, ethnicity, nepotism, racism, sexism, chauvinism, regionalism, personality cult and strive to build a Namibian house where no one feels left out.
In conclusion, as the Secretary for SWAPO Party Youth League, I offer my deep respect and gratitude to each and every one of you who have entrusted me to take the lead, and despite our mutual responsibility I will remain accountable.
There are greater things to be achieved in every New Year, and each and every one must prepare them-selves to be great, not by words of
the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices which I emphasis by saying “WE MUST TALK LESS AND DO MORE”.
May the year 2018 be prosperous!
Now! Hard Work!
Comrade Ephraim Nekongo
SWAPO Party Youth League Secretary